FORMAT19
FOREVER//NOW

15 March — 14 April 2019

In 2007, while the photography world was still grappling with the idea of photography as an interpretive, non-narrative, non-representational medium, writer Lucy Soutter wrote about the “crooked” expressive versus the “straight” documentary photograph, insightfully characterising the then two sides of the debate.

Since then photography has grown to encompass many manifestations of the “crooked” image through hybrid forms and visual practises and no longer worries about narrative versus abstraction, expressive versus objective. The new generation of photographic artists rush towards the new, embracing the rapid transformation that technology and cultural exchanges bring to it.

It is such new approaches to photography that FORMAT19: FOREVER//NOW will address during the festival.

Forever is an idea built into the very nature of the photograph that records the moment and immediately presents us with a visual memory of the past. Forever touches upon our obsession to record and share the continuous moments of our lives. Yet forever is an illusion and the immortality photography proffers can quickly sour when digital anonymity becomes virtually impossible to obtain. The eruption of selfies and Instagram is contradicted by campaigns around the right to be forgotten or opt out.

Now is the new photography orthodoxy, in which the message is all, the product of an era that is seen as “post truth”, regardless of whether it is a fictionalised story or a factual narrative or an aesthetic mixture of the two. The challenge for the photographer is how to establish their message in the now and stop it being transitory.

In this era of Trump’s fake news, where truths, lies and myths are easily interchanged, we need to find a new structure to realign our perception of reality and provide a frame of reference for identifying where the truth really resides.

FORMAT19 will look at how photography is evolving and moving ever forward, while keeping a curatorial eye on its past and how it is being constantly reinterpreted.

Even as we endeavour to extend subjects through photography, time and material can never be endless, it is a difficult concept to pin down and the immortality that photography seems to offer is always just out of reach. Alongside the mass production of pictures and our seemingly endless desire to be seen, there are calls for digital anonymity and campaigns around the right to be forgotten or to opt out.

FOREVER//NOW is a contested idea that we invite you to think widely about, there are many ways to perceive it.

Exhibition
Sixteen
15 March 2019 - 14 April 2019
09:00 - 17:00
£10.00
Exhibition
Woman go no’gree
15 March 2019 - 14 April 2019
10:00 - 17:00
Exhibition
Saturday girl
15 March 2019 - 14 April 2019
10:00 - 17:00
Exhibition
A blurry aftertaste
15 March 2019 - 14 April 2019
10:00 - 17:00
Exhibition
All watched over by machine of loving grace
15 March 2019 - 14 April 2019
10:00 - 17:00
Exhibition
Of swallows and ravens
15 March 2019 - 14 April 2019
10:00 - 17:00
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LATEST NEWS

FORMAT19 Press launch

December 11, 2018

The much anticipated next edition of FORMAT International Photography Festival launched in London to critical acclaim

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Call for submissions
December 5, 2018

We are delighted to announce Sebastian Arthur Hau the curator for the FORMAT19 Photobook Market which will take place in the old central library building at Derby Museum and Art Gallery during the festival’s Opening Weekend, from the 14th-17th March 2019

Volunteer with us
December 6, 2018

Deadline for Applications 4th January 2019

FORMAT International Photography Festival is the largest contemporary photography festival in the UK, and it relies on a team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to ensure a great visitor experience for everybody

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