The title of this post is also the title of the theme for the FORMAT Photography Festival 2015. This post will be about the 2 day opening weekend trip I spent there with my classmates, more specifically about my thoughts and feelings of the theme and select work.
Visiting over 13 exhibitions which featured hundreds of photographers across the city of Derby. I did have some strong opinions about some of the work, whilst others I was less concerned with, or rather the presentation of some work made me feel reluctant to view it.
The first one would be the exhibition at the Quad. This was the Format hub and it’s main information point. This was where the theme was strongest and had a higher impact with it’s layout and distinguished photographs compared to some of the other spaces. There was this wonderful interactive space with UV photographs on the wall, allowing guests to pick up a UV light and search the room for ‘clues’ of photographs. This was an exciting beginning to the exhibit and I really enjoyed that the festival had made this somewhat serious theme into a game with added lightheartedness to it. On the other hand, I find it hard to remember what the images were of, or even what the significance of them was. I enjoyed the interactive side, thats for sure, but the actual photography? It was a mis-step for me.
Further into the same exhibit and thats where it got interesting. This work below was one of the stand-out pieces for me by Italian photographers Arianna Arcara and Luca Santese. ‘They set out to find lost, thrown out, and forgotten photographs of the Detroit’s past. Their collection eventually grew to include thousands of polaroids, letters, prints of photographic evidence, police documents, mugshots and family albums.’. They have taken something simple like the idea of forgotten or found photography and created this impressionistic style art work that shows only fragments of faces, fragments of life. The faces and places shown may be all different but through Arcara and Santese’s work they have become related though the same force of dereliction. You get a sense of who the people are, depicted with these water/wave like qualities. This addition adds to the idea how this photographic moment was just one wave in their lives. The framing I’m personally not sure about, but the images together make a thrilling story and are wonderful images.
There were many amazing works in the Quad building but that was definitely my favourite. What I loved most about this space was that it was so interactive. On the first floor was a ‘Clap Your Hands’ webcam where you could take selfies by clapping your hands and they would appear on this live tumbler feed. there was also an amazing poetry/photography installation which was on a projector and when you turn this little cog on a plinth, the slides began to move and music began to play. It was very atmospheric and it kept you wanting more. There was a lot of interactive elements to the trip which I have documented in a short Vlog. I will show this when it’s completed, but I did this because I wanted to document the trip and the vastness of the spaces we went to.
Thanks for reading!