The FORMAT biennale, one of the UK’s leading international contemporary festivals of photography, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and will bring together top contemporary photography under the curatorial theme of EVIDENCE. Rivalling international peers, FORMAT champions photography from all over the world and introduces new talents to the UK; this year the festival will show artists from North America, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, India, China, South East Asia and Eastern Europe in the historic city of Derby.
This year’s final selection includes 76 photographers including Simon Norfolk, Chris Shaw, Sarah Pickering, Seán Hillen and Lisa Barnard, as well as those from the new generation of talented photographers, curators and collectives. Amongst the works are series as diverse as war stories, fairy tales and crime scenes, landscapes, street photography and performance projects.
The main exhibition at QUAD, Beyond Evidence – An incomplete narrative of photographic truths, derives from Evidence (1977) by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel and studies the relationship between image and truth; meanwhile at Derby’s Art Gallery and Museum, three exhibitions by Renhui Zhao, Sarah Pickering and Nick Sargeant will examine the role of the archival document in scientific documentation, police investigations and forgery.
In the same vein, the Derby Police Museum will also show archive of mug shots and crime scenes, while the Pickford’s House Museum, will exhibit The Photograph is Proof, a rare chance to see the historical documentation of criminal investigations in India, curated by Anusha Yadav from the Indian Memory Project.
Nottingham’s New Art Exchange will partner the festival with Residual: Traces the Black Body, in which five artists examine the representation of the black body in contemporary society; also displayed is Mahtab Hussain’s new work, The Commonality of Strangers, which reveals disturbingly current accounts of people escaping poverty and persecution.
Following the festival’s Opening Weekend, keynote talks, artist performances, portfolio reviews and inclusive activities will include a mass Instagram participation project, the launch of two new digital platforms – FOCUS, a photographic storytelling site, and the EVIDENCE APP, a pioneering interactive guide that brings the technology of gaming to the festival; and the opening of WW Winters, one of the world’s oldest photography studios, to the public.
FORMAT15: EVIDENCE, 13 March – 12 April, Derby, UK.
More information can be found at www.formatfestival.com.
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1. Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel, Untitled Evidence, 1977. Courtesy of Format.