For its seventh edition, Brighton Photo Biennial sets out to explore understandings of identity and representation – our personal and projected image – as influenced by the pervasive genre of fashion and style photography.
Beyond the Bias – Reshaping Image, explores photography’s role in defining and informing our understanding of subjects such as: gender and sexuality, the representation of the body, the politics of style, subcultures and the subversion of social and cultural norms.
Identity and self-representation are explored in relation to the wider context of mass-representation; where self-image and attitude are often co-opted. Including work from documentary photographers and photographic approaches that knowingly reference the language of fashion and style photography, BPB16 unpicks understandings of image and self-image in relation to society.
Our theme probes photography’s duality: sometimes authentic, informing and reflective, transgressing the pervasive view; sometimes feeding into the uniformity of photographic visual culture and its influence upon us.
The exhibitions, commissions and events focus on individuality, sub-cultures and communities, in contrast to standardisation, mass-representation and the generic.
At the core of BPB16 are three major exhibition projects, one a European premiere of a show from the USA, another two are new commissions; one centered on British Youth Style, the other a UK/India collaboration exploring sexuality and identity.
These three projects are the impetus for a textured programme of companion presentations and are enriched by a live events and digital programme, devised to throw a raking light on key aspects of the ideas raised by the festival.
The full BPB16 events programme, will be online soon with a packed calendar of talks and events, will have plenty to offer non-specialist and specialist audiences alike, including: artist and thinker talks, screenings, workshops, professional development opportunities, tours, activities for young people and families.
Participation is intrinsic to all BPB16 projects and our learning and participation programme ensures engagement is embedded from commissioning through to delivery.
The latest issue of our respected photography and visual culture journal, Photoworks Annual Issue 23 will launch alongside BPB16, presenting a wider conversation on the subjects explored within the festival. Photoworks Members’ copies will be delivered direct to their doors. If you’re not yet a Member, you can sign up online here and enjoy all the year round benefits of membership. Or pick up your copy for £20 at specialist retailers worldwide and various locations across the Festival.
About Photoworks Issue 23
We look back at a century of fashion photography with Magda Keaney; unpick 1990s retro appeal in British fashion with Elaine Constantine, Simon Fox and Jason Evans; get up to date with a dissection of this year’s Dolce & Gabbana campaign; Elizabeth Kutesko introduces a new generation of Brazilian photographers challenging stereotypes; five curators and writers each share a single image with particular significance to themselves and our theme; Diane Smyth examines work selected from our open submission; we present new international work from Nathan Seabrook and Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber; plus, Columbia University Professor and Slaves to Fashion writer, Monica Miller, contextualises the BPB16 exhibition The Dandy Lion Project.
The Biennial programme is devised by Photoworks Director, Celia Davies and the Photoworks Team along with invited curators and contributors.
More generally, the aim of Brighton Photo Biennial as a platform, is to engage intercultural audiences at every level through a multi-dimensional, collaborative programme supporting and exporting excellence and exchange of talent through the production of artist-led projects and the engagement of diverse communities.
Note from AIB: There are so many events and exhibitions as part of this year's Photo Biennal that I can't possibly post them all here. You can check it out here: http://2016.bpb.org.uk/whats-on/