From Selfies to Space, Here's What to See at Ballarat International Foto Biennale

Wind Form Prue Stent Courtesy of TS Publicity 
Wind Form Prue Stent Courtesy of TS Publicity
Photo of Monique La Terra
22 June 2017

From celestial images to selfies, the 12th Ballarat International Foto Biennale pools together a program of over 100 exhibitions from local and international artists, including David LaChapelle.

Founded in 2005, Australia’s only photographic biennale will take place in notable heritage locations around Ballarat, including the Art Gallery of Ballarat, The Mining Exchange, the Minerva Room, The Ballarat Observatory, Post Office Gallery and the Town Hall. “The 2017 Ballarat International Foto Biennale is a feast for the image-obsessed”, said newly appointed festival director Fiona Sweet. “The town will be immersed in photography, and the small city of Ballarat is ideal in its accessibility, everything is within 10 minutes of each other. This is about discovery of photography within the unique spaces of Ballarat.”

Stateless Gohar Dashit, Courtesy of TS Publicity

Headlining the program is American iconoclast David LaChapelle, whose hyper-realistic photos have graced the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Italian Vogue and French Vogue. Curated by David himself, the retrospective will feature up to 90 works from the last three decades. “When I realised he had never exhibited in Australia, I knew that LaChapelle would be incredibly significant for the Biennale,” said Fiona Sweet. “David La Chapelle is one of the rare photographers able to transcend the barriers between fine art and commercial photography, often with a profound social message.”

Pieta Courtney Love David LaChapelle Courtesy of TS Publicity

Core Program

TELL, an assemblage of photos showcasing the work of 17 contemporary Indigenous photographers, including Maree Clarke, Bindi Cole Chocka and Warwick Thornton.

Maziar Moradi’s emotive exhibit Ich Werde Deutsch (I Become German) looks at the personal journeys of young immigrants in Germany.

Rearranging Boundaries amalgamates the work of documentary photographers and visual activists from some of the most controversial corners of the planet.

Self/Selfie creatively investigates 21st century autobiographical documentation and narcissistic culture.

A Field Guide to the Stars leads visitors through a constellation of photomedia at Ballarat Observatory.

Curated by Michelle Mountain, Reverie Revelry is a survey of mid-20th century fashion photography, including that of Bruno Benini alongside other contemporary artists and photographers.

For the first time, the Biennale will feature a free Public Outdoor Program displaying the work of Iranian photographers Shadi Ghardirian and Gohar Dashti. Exposing gender and social issues in Iran, the photographs prompt a feminist dialogue with images that contradict the social norm in Iran, such as women in traditional clothing standing with mountain bikes.

In celebration of their 150 year anniversary, The Courier in conjunction with BIFB will present The Courier: 150 Years Of Telling Ballarat’s Story, highlighting local photojournalists and the events which shaped Ballarat’s history.

The 2017 program also incorporates guided workshops, talks, portfolio reviews and the Martin Kantor Portrait Prize, as well as over 90 fringe exhibitions presented at more than 70 venues across Balart.

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale will take place over 30 days from August 19, to September 17, 2017. More information and tickets can be found here.

Without Title Maziar Moradi, Courtesy of TS Publicity

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