Ballarat foto Biennale



From abandoned Japanese theme parks, to Italy’s magical Dolomite Mountains, bodybuilding poses, and our obsession with selfies, to some of the world’s greatest photographers including iconoclastic American superstar, David LaChapelle, the 7th Ballarat International Foto Biennale will showcase over 100 exhibitions from local and international artists over 30 days from 19 August – 17 September.

The only photographic biennale in Australia, BIFB has attracted a huge range of elite and emerging photographers since it began in 2005.

Ballarat is home to Australia’s oldest and largest regional art gallery and notable heritage locations, with the Core Program of the Biennale taking place at the beautiful Art Gallery of Ballarat, The Mining Exchange, the Minerva Room, The Ballarat Observatory, Post Office Gallery and the Town Hall.

New Artistic Director Fiona Sweet’s first Biennale program will also include participatory events, workshops, talks, portfolio reviews, education programs and outdoor events along with a Fringe Program staged at more than 70 cafes, galleries and wine bars across the city, providing the launch pad for hundreds of new and emerging artists.

Artistic Director Fiona Sweet said: “David La Chapelle is one of the rare photographers able to transcend the barriers between fine art and commercial photography, often with a profound social message.

I have loved his work for years, ever since I bought his book 12 years ago.

When I realised he had never exhibited in Australia I knew that LaChapelle would be incredibly significant for the Biennale, and for Australia, and I am thrilled he agreed to exhibit with us as an Australian first.”

Highlights of the 2017 program include:

David LaChapelle’s first solo exhibition in Australia is the proud centre-piece of the 2017 program and will showcase over 60 of LaChapelle’s works spanning the last three decades.

Starting his career in the 1980s, LaChapelle is known worldwide for his unique, hyper-realistic aesthetic.

His images have graced the covers of Italian Vogue, French VogueVanity Fair, GQ and Rolling Stone and he has photographed some of the most recognisable faces on the planet, from Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston to Angelina Jolie and Hillary Clinton.

TELL shines a spotlight on contemporary Indigenous artists and their photographic practices.

Featuring 17 acclaimed Indigenous photographers, TELL, curated by emerging Indigenous curator, Jessica Clark, will include work from Moorina Bonini, Maree Clarke, Bindi Cole Chocka, Brenda L Croft, Destiny Deacon, Deanne Gilson, Robert Fielding, Jody Haines, Dianne Jones, Ricky Maynard, Hayley Millar-Baker, Kent Morris, Pitcha Makin Fellas, Steven Rhall, Damien Shen, James Tylor and Warwick Thornton.

Seduced by the nostalgia of mid-20th century fashion photography, Michelle Mountain will curate vintage and contemporary fashion photographers.

Revelry Reverie: Fashion Through Photography reflects on the work of Bruno Benini, one of Australia’s most sophisticated and graceful fashion photographers.

Alongside Benini’s work, this exhibition considers the practices of other contemporary artists and photographers working with fashion images including Robyn Beeche, Noé Sendas, Prue Stent, Honey Long, Nancy de Holl and Matthew Linde/Centre For Style.

The pouting selfie, the bathroom selfie, the I-just-woke-up-like-this selfie, the gym selfie, the celebrity selfie – what’s really behind the selfie phenomenon in the 21st century and what does it say about our society today?

SELF/SELFIE is an exhibition explores the whimsical nature of selfies, but also their contribution to the growing culture of narcissism and promotion of conformist behaviour.

Media Contacts: TS Publicity (03) 9419 8837

Tatia Sloley – 0403 305 395 /
Mary Thompson – 0415 745 910 /
Tiki Menegola – 0467 227 822 /



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