As photography festivals innovate and restructure, questions surrounding the purpose and functionality of the gallery have been raised.
Tag: format festival
The French-Polish photographer sheds light on the experience of 15 individuals who took a leap of faith and fled the dictatorship, in search of a better life in South Korean
Reappropriating Catholic imagery, Mendez highlights the impact of the colonial history in the ongoing sidelining of indigenous women in her home country
Using her camera, the photographer interprets the intangible into imagery to attempt to gain a better understanding and connection to a family member she never knew.
Moreno’s Latest work draws on glamour, Freud, gender and performance as they navigate an isolated lockdown.
With nearly 300 images and still going, Mountain of Salt chronicles the sentiment of the unprecedented events of last year.
Travelling to the Nepalese Himalayas, Singh tells a story of faith, caste-based discrimination, and the search for new life
Overcoming hardships and uncertainties, the festival’s 10th edition is themed under Control, and includes exhibitions curated by Marina Paulenka, Azu Nwagbogu and WM Hunt
Virginie Rebetez is a photographer preoccupied by absence. Her work explores themes around disappearance, loss and death, her subjects often physically absent or removed from the projects that depict them. Such is the case with Out of the Blue, which centres around the unresolved disappearance of Suzanne Gloria Lyall, who went missing in 1998 at the age of 19, in Albany, upstate New York. Out of the Blue was published last year by Meta/Books, and is showing in Mutable/Multiple at Quad during Format.
Lyall has never been found but traces of her remain even now, more than 20 years later. “Photography has this relationship with traces but also with proof and reality,” explains Rebetez, whose work attempts to make concrete something unthinkable, this vacuum, by becoming acquainted with Suzanne and her life in her absence. “It’s really interesting to work on something invisible with photography because somehow it gives something material to that which is not present,” she says.
“A festival is about taking risks,” says Louise Clements, founder and director of Format International Photography Festival, which returns this year to celebrate its ninth edition. “Festivals can come and go, but to sustain something for so many years, you have to work out how to make it valuable for its participants and its audience, by giving people something to work towards.”
The city of Derby, in the UK’s post-industrial Midlands, is not large, but over the last 15 years the biennial event has helped place it on the cultural map. Over the course of each festival some 100,000 visitors will gather there – the city’s compact size lending it some advantages. “Derby is small, like Arles [whose 50-year-old Rencontres photography festival remains the blueprint], so there is this critical mass-like feeling,” says Clements. “People are likely to bump into each other, see our bags and totes – the guides see and integrate them, for example, when we work with the local microbreweries.”