Photography jobs

Photography teaches us to capture a moving world

Photography has the power to generate sympathy and connection on a global scale – photos can spark political uprising, challenge social injustice, and capture lived experiences for an entire generation.

This year, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) will unveil the possibilities of this art form through the works of 260 international and local artists, demonstrating their ability to generate new perspectives and facilitate social engagement.

Audiences will be encouraged to view the familiar medium in a new light thanks to the overarching premise, Pass. Tense. Now. which emphasizes the themes of identity, familiarity, inequality, spatial awareness and human / nature relationships.

“Photography has this democratic capacity to discuss, in a very simple or very photographic way, what is happening in the world. Pass. Tense. Now. is something that seemed to fit perfectly with this huge change that we are going through, ”explained BIFB Artistic Director Fiona Sweet.

Thinking back to another monumental cultural shift, the BIFB presents a historical retrospective of Linda McCartney’s astonishing career, with over 200 never-before-seen photographs capturing music legends Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, as well as prints from the McCartney visits Australia. between 1975 and 1993.

Sweet explained, “It’s a snapshot, a frozen moment in the history of the ’60s and’ 70s. And it talks about a time and a place where the world was completely changed by this music movement… [McCartney] was there at the time, taking these incredibly personal candid photographs. The spectacle is not to be missed. ‘

The international program also includes Los Angeles-based LGBTQI photographer Steven Arnolds, London-based French artist Alix Marie (whose work is on display at the brand new National Center for Photography) and Malaysian / Singaporean duo Chow’s social commentary series. and Lin, The threshold of poverty.

“The past year has been a time of contemplation and reflection. Being the only visual arts festival in the city, we have some sort of responsibility to activate the area… It was imperative for me to find a way that would give the city something to enjoy and to celebrate, ”Sweet explained. .

The two-month festival also offers an outdoor program held alongside its indoor events, including Say it with flowers at Ballarat Cemetery – a loving but morbid journey exploring the rituals of memory and nostalgia organized by Wotjobaluk curator Kat Clarke.

Expect to see audiences outdoors and in unusual locations, not just galleries, as part of the 2021 Ballarat International Photo Biennale. Photo: Ellen Eustice.


“The wider art world is increasingly interested in the relationship between photography and the fine art,” said Sweet. “There is also the interest in exploring alternative and new mediums and styles of photography. [Works that challenge] politically, socially, but also artistically.

‘[The Biennale will] look at alternative practices, photography without a lens. I guess all come from a strong philosophical point of view – a lot of artists who don’t identify as photographers use the photographic medium. ‘

Support for artists is at the heart of BIFB, and this year’s open program hosts a record number of independent artists exhibiting across the city.

Sweet shared his excitement, “The whole town is just filled with photographs – 75 cafes, bars and restaurants in our small town are filled with photographic exhibits. The entire open program is free and we only exhibit artists who have never exhibited before. ‘

The power of photography is in its accessibility and familiarity, Sweet continued, “There are a lot of audiences who come without this fear of not knowing what to expect or how to react, because it’s a medium that is very familiar. It’s a way they can engage.

For the first time in the festival’s 16-year history, visitors will be able to secure day passes that grant access to all major programs, including two exclusive Australian group shows at the 19th-century Mining Exchange. We will all return to earth eventually explores photography as a tool of colonization and decolonization, while it’s raining embers examines the Australian bushfires of 2020 through a journalistic lens.

‘At its height of the gold rush, [Ballarat] was one of the most diverse cities in Victoria – it was a very culturally diverse city and very economically rich, ”said Sweet. “We bring that back with the arts. “

Consult the full program of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2021, extended until January 9, 2022.