FORMAT21: Presents in venues across Derby 17th May – 29th August 2021
Following the successful 3D virtual presentation of FORMAT21 International Photography Festival, selected exhibitions from this year’s international photography festival will be shown across Derby in the city’s cultural institutions and retail spaces. Come and enjoy the face to face experience of some amazing photography.
Covid19 has dominated the world’s media since WHO announced the pandemic in early 2020 and in March Director of FORMAT Louise Fedotov-Clements, inspired by the 1937 Mass Observation project launched the Instagram based project #massisolationFORMAT.
The project invited photographers form around the world to hashtag their visual responses to the pandemic and over the course of the next twelve months over 40,000 images from participants in 90 countries have tagged their photographs. This global response to living under lockdown has created an immensely important archive of images that chronicle our common and shared experiences, capture the tragedy of illness and death, document the heroic struggle of working on the frontline and offered the opportunity for creative and surreal expressions of Covid19 across the world.
FORMAT has partnered with the photography and design studio – The People’s Picture – led by Helen Marshall to produce both a physical photomosaic and digital archive of the curated images from #massisolationFORMAT which will form the main exhibition at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery.
The mass isolation mosaic, featuring #massisolationFORMAT image Lovers by Argentian photographers Luisa Magdalena and Nahuel Alfonso, has also been turned into a public art installation in Derby’s Market Square. Printed onto a giant vinyl the mosaic wraps around QUAD enabling everyone passing by, to see many of the 40,000 images submitted to #massisolationFORMAT.
The acclaimed autobiography, volume II Black Country Dada by celebrated photographer Brian Griffin, will be exhibited at QUAD. Griffin achieved early recognition in the 1970s and 1980s, inventing a new photographic style known as Capitalist Realism in which he captured the different workers of society, transforming workplaces into stages and his subjects into actors.
Griffin recounts his student days at Manchester Polytechnic alongside fellow photographers Martin Parr and Daniel Meadows; his arrival on the photography scene in London and developing his signature style of surreal portraits, his move into commercial photography and the audacity of visualising the financial Big Bang in Broadgate; working with Stiff Records and creating some of the 20th century’s most iconic album covers, including for Joe Jackson, Siouxsie and Iggy Pop and his move into advertising with Saatchi and Saatchi.
There are some wonderful surprises of less well known but brilliantly made portraits and some amusing personal stories including his 1974 holiday in Moscow where he encountered a military parade and the KGB and his evening with a drunken knife throwing circus act in Rotherhithe, the East London borough he made his home and where he still lives today.
The exhibition Famous Internet Sites by artist Zou Jingyao, curated by Lou Dawei was awarded the Lishui/FORMAT Award 2019, selected by Louise Fedotov-Clements and Laura O’Leary as part of FORMAT’s ongoing partnership with Lishui International Photography Festival, China.
The project focuses on reimagining places made famous by the internet as ‘flash mob exhibitions’ created for people to go and take selfies.
Photo by Uzoma Chidumaga Orji
A group exhibition of three emerging artists – Anthony Bila (South Africa), Uzoma Chidumaga Orji (Nigeria) and Sipho Gongxeka (South Africa), selected from a pan-African open-call for QUAD and in collaboration with Azu Nwagbogu, includes their visionary work dealing with complex, socio-political issues; representations of the digital, queer daily life in townships and societal responses to lockdown.
Anthony Bila new body of work the power(lessness) of (n)one explores how lockdown restrictions have compromised our sense of autonomy, taking into consideration the individualism of western culture versus the concept of community often found in African and Eastern culture has impacted our sense of control.
Uzoma Chidumaga Orji’s Welcome to Instaland, invites you to explore a surrealistic landscape that reflects the realities of social media today and considers the relationship artists have with it.
House of Realness by Sipho Gongxeka attempts to challenge long-held notions of how black queer individuals are expected to publicly perform their identities through a set of nostalgic images with an aesthetic that mimics a style of photography reminiscent of what a street photographer; working in township communities in the 1980s, might have captured.
L-R Photos by Ashfika Rahman; Turbine Bagh
L-R Photos by Anna Ehrenstein; Nida Mehboob
COLLABORATION > CONTROL, winner of the FORMAT21 Open Call Award is an open dialogue about artistic control and co-creation, curated by Vincent Hasselbach and featuring works by Anna Ehrenstein, Nida Mehboob, Ashfika Rahman and the Turbine Bagh project initiated by Sofia Karim.
Responding to FORMAT21 theme of CONTROL, it explores engaged collaboration as a potential strategy for both complicating and seeking to overcome photography’s intrinsic position as a tool of power, control and historically, domination.
L-R Photos by Tami Aftab; Anouchka Renaud-Eck; Heather Agyepong
L-R Photos by Lei Lei; Juan Orrantia
The FORMAT21 Open Call received over 800 submissions from 66 countries and a small selection of the 50 selected projects will be shown at Deda. Exploring the many manifestations of the festival theme – Control, the work of LeiLei, Anouchka Renaud-Eck, Tami Aftab, Juan Orrantia and Heather Agyepong look at the struggle for control in the personal and political spheres.
Very contemporary ideas of self-control as expressed through health and well-being are explored in Tami Aftab’s visualisation her father’s illness, hydrocephalus, in The Dog’s in the Car; Lei Lei’s A Moment questions the hierarchy of the process of image production and ways of looking; Anouchka Renaud-Eck highlights the control exerted through traditional Indian marriages in Ardhanarishvara; Juan Orrantia’s Like Stains of Red Dirt uses vibrant colour to suggest the historical and political undercurrents of living in South African and Heather Agyepong focuses on the work of Aida Overton Walker, the celebrated African American vaudeville performer who challenged the rigid and problematic narratives of black performers in Wish You Were Here.
Warawar Wawa (Son of the Stars)
is a re-imagining of Antoine Saint Exupery’s book, Le Petit Prince, visualised through the contemporary Andean culture.
For a long time, Bolivia has been viewed through the narrative of a folklore imposed and interpreted by foreign observers and influencers, reducing Bolivia and its citizens to mere ethnic signifiers.
Such a reduction has affected the attitudes of Bolivians to their own position within their society, producing a unified way of looking and thinking, that through time has resulted in an effective social and political control system.
Unstable/Sustainable is a re-invented exhibition made by the London Alternative Photography Collective. It was originally staged at Format Festival by the London Alternative Photography Collective in 2015. This earlier exhibition included a number of photographic works, which gradually changed chemically during the course of the exhibition.
For the 2021 edition of Unstable at Format Festival, all exhibited works will be produced using sustainable photographic processes. Within the LAPC’s Sustainable Darkroom research project, we have been working with a number of ephemeral photography processes which are notoriously difficult to fix.
East Meets West is a collaboration between FORMAT, QUAD and GRAIN Projects and is made up of a series of masterclasses for emerging photographers from across the UK. This professional development programme offers photographers a unique opportunity to take part in presentations, portfolio reviews and advice sessions with leading professionals. The experience is immersive and provides an opportunity for practitioners to take the next step in their careers.
Andy Pilsbury Lucy Turner Mitchell Moreno
Emily Jones Mark Hobbs Nicola Morley
Fraser Mcgee Marley Starskey-Butler Tamsin Green
Jacqui Booth Maryam Wahid Susana De Dios
Joseph Allen Keys Laura Dicken
From the talented artists in BA (Hons) Photography Graduating Class at the University of Derby – Elin Davies, Jenna Eady and Rosie Lawrence were selected by a panel of judges for a FORMAT Graduate Award due to their distinct work. Elin, Jenna and Rosie are presenting their work in FORMAT21, continuing a legacy of outstanding Graduates from this course exhibiting in FORMAT.
A deftly curated festival that reflects the breadth of contemporary photography. – Sean O’Hagan
FORMAT provides an unrivalled platform for leading photographers from around the world to gather, show and discuss their work. – Brian Griffin
Scholarly, stimulating and up to the standards of its international peers – Francis Hodgson
FORMAT is a truly ambitious and huge enterprise, an intelligently and coherently curated festival – Arts Council England
FORMAT is directed by Louise Fedotov-Clements and organised by QUAD in partnership with the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre of the University of Derby
Press: Bridget Coaker – firstname.lastname@example.org; 07968 950 703
Notes to editors: *Here, There and Everywhere is led and supported by New Art Exchange with Delfina Foundation, Eastside Projects, QUAD/FORMAT, Primary, MAC and The Tetley.
QUAD is a registered charity.