Ballarat Foto Biennale 2019
The Ballarat Foto Biennale is one of the country’s preeminent photographic festivals. And this year it has an extended, two-month run – 30 exhibitions are on from August 23 to October 20 at venues across Ballarat.
The centrepiece exhibition features work by one of China’s most prominent living artists, Lui Bolin. In Camouflage, the photographer and social activist invites you to search for an invisible man, which speaks to the many who have been forgotten as China rises to economic fiefdom. He dissects the tensions between individuals and society, particularly in his home country of China, somehow turning disappearance into an active expression of resistance.
Bolin has exhibited at Centre Pompidou in Paris, Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne and the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as collaborated with the New York Times, The Louvre and renowned photographer Annie Liebowitz.
Co-headlining the program is a major mid-career retrospective by internationally celebrated Indigenous photographer and Badtjala woman, Dr Fiona Foley. Her exhibition, Who are these strangers and where are they going, was curated by leading Indigenous writer, artist and activist Djon Mundine OAM. Her key photographic works, which delve into racial inequality, will be presented as part of interactive, site-specific installations and alongside a momentous new soundscape.
You can also catch photographic records of Incremental Loss by Robbie Rowlands, in which he transformed a heritage Ballarat building (that dated back to 1836) into a haunting sculptural work about time, loss and history. The building has since become the National Centre for Photography.