PhotoForum: In Conversation with Anthony Bila

FORMAT Producer, Debbie Cooper and FORMAT Coordinator Niamh Treacy will be in conversation with multi-disciplinary artist Anthony Bila, discussing his journey into commercial photography and film direction as well as his exhibition The power(lessness) of n(one) on display at QUAD, Derby as part of FORMAT21 Presents, and exhibited at virtual FORMAT21.

Anthony Bila is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, whose upbringing in the township of Tembisa, has informed his outlook on the world.

After receiving a Media Studies Diploma from the University of Johannesburg he went into advertising as a copywriter and creative director before ultimately leaving the industry to pursue a freelance career as a visual artist, film director and creative consultant.

The narratives of his work are deeply tied to family, identity, race and religion and the experiences of people of colour. Bila’s art crosses into portrait, fashion, documentary photography and the surreal, refusing to be boxed into a genre.

Bila is interested in how we communicate without speaking and choose to express ourselves in our appearance. Our clothes form the canvas that speaks before we do and has the power to subvert, challenge and resist the status quo or comply, acquiesce and submit to it.

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.

This talk will take place via Zoom and also live streamed to the FORMAT Facebook account. The link to access the talk will be sent to all registered attendees prior to the event.

Proceeds from this and all other Photoforum events will go towards supporting our future activities.