FORMAT 2011 Festival lines up an ambitious feast of Street Photography for Derby

By Richard Moss | 01 March 2011
a photo of a busy subway train in Japan with faces reflected in the windows
Jack Simon, Tokyo Japan, 2008© Jack Simon
Festival: FORMAT International Photography Festival, various venues and locations in Derby, March 1 - April 3 2011.

Street Photography in all its forms is the theme for the 5th edition of FORMAT as March sees the work of some of the world’s finest photographers converge on Derby.

Curated by Louise Clements, who established the citywide celebration in 2004, this year’s festival boasts an ambitious programme that embraces everything from pop-up shows to crowd sourcing – all of it firmly focussed on the emergence and importance of photographs taken in public places. 

Over the course of the month more than 3,000 works by over 300 artists will be revealed in a variety of locations in what organisers are describing as the most comprehensive survey of street photography ever seen.

The curated exhibitions centre on Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Quad Gallery and the city’s Marketplace, which will see works by celebrated photographers pitched in with photos sourced from Flickr groups, photography collectives and a bold international mass submission online project called Mob FORMAT. 

a story of a young person with a mohican haircut and a bloodied head
Harri Pälviranta’s Battered© Harri Pälviranta
Giving the festival a local resonance Magnum Photographer Bruce Gilden has turned his lens on the people of Derby to create Head On 2010 at Derby Museum & Art Gallery.

The city centre venue is also home to an intrepid programme of exhibitions ranging from Battered, Harri Pälviranta’s shocking photographs depicting the aftermath of street fights in Finland, to acclaimed Iranian Mehraneh Atashi’s Tehran Self Portraits.

In Derby marketplace, Take to the Streets features the street photography of Magnum Photographers Constantine Manos, Richard Kalvar, Raymond Depardon, Chris Steele-Perkins, Bruno Barbey, Trent Parke and Alex Webb – all appropriately displayed for the passing public as large scale photos.

QUAD Gallery is contributing an extensive survey of contemporary street photography that brings together the work of more than 20 artists including archive, unseen and new works by the likes of Brian Griffin, Amy Stein, Joel Meyerowitz, Polly Braden, Raghu Rai, and Wassink Lundgren.

a photo of a street scene with a central couple walking through a blast of steam
Camel Coats, New York City, 1975© Joel Meyerowitz, Courtesy of Edwyn Houk Gallery.
The show will also include a selection of documentary films by Vivian Maier, a Chicago-based street photographer whose archive of negatives, prints, and homemade films spanning the 1950s to the 1990s was only recently discovered.

A further slideshow exhibition features work created and selected by the prolific Hardcore Street Photography group from Flickr. Other collectives on show include the Street photography group In- Public and six international collectives including Rawiya, an all female group from the Middle East.

FORMAT also includes exhibitions at Deda Gallery and University of Derby and even manages to jump ship to Nottingham for a major exhibition by Indian Magnum photographer Raghu Rai whose stunning images at New Art Exchange capture the bustling streets of India.
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