Brighton Photo Biennial Venues across Brighton and Hove, Sussex

The UK’s largest international photography festival returns for the sixth time this year, filling venues and public spaces in Brighton & Hove and beyond with a series of remarkable collaborations. Rather than be organised by a single curator, ‘Communities, Collectives & Collaboration’ will present a series of projects which feature over 45 photographers, artists, collectives and partners bound by an innovative collaborative approach which gives rise to unexpected partnerships between practitioners from varying fields.

This year, highlights include Simon Faithfull’s REEF which will see a boat will be towed out to sea from Portland, set on fire and sunk. Five cameras mounted on board will transmit live as the boat makes its final journey to the bottom of the sea. The cameras will then continue to transmit to a dedicated website for a year, with the images relayed to installations at Fabrica Brighton, in Calais and Caen. Over this year viewers can view the watery underworld surrounding the ship, and the slow metamorphosis from ship to artificial reef.

Politics, Italy’s mysterious ‘Years of Lead’ specifically, are studied in Amore e Piombo: The Photography of Extremes in 1970s: an unparalleled collection of photographs invite viewers into the tumultuous era of 1970s Italy, via a paparazzi-style lens. These unsettling images will appear alongside news footage, film sequences, sound recordings and Italian photo-books of the period.

Magnum Photos’ prestigious archives, comprising over 68,000 prints, are brought to light by historical and visual anthropologist Elizabeth Edwards, photographer Hannah Starkey and multi-media artist Uriel Orlow in One Archive: Three Views. The three selectors look beneath the mythology of Magnum Photos and examine how social, cultural and political inclinations have shaped the archive; Starkey’s interest arises from the female perspective and how work is subsequently engendered; Edwards investigates narrative gaps and absent histories, while Orlow teases out pictorial associations.

Archives are further discovered in Stories Seen Through A Glass Plate which celebrates The Reeves Studio in Lewes: the oldest continuously operated photographic studio in the world and where Edward Reeves took his first studio portrait in 1855. Images from the Reeves Studio Archives will be exhibited as light boxes in thirty shop windows along Lewes High Street, near the locations in which they were originally taken.

Fitting for Brighton’s eco-aware status, ten photo essays respond to sustainability principles and appear as site-specific installations in high profile public spaces throughout Brighton & Hove for ten months – continuing the collaborative engagement and principles of the Biennial even after its close.

Brighton Photo Biennial 4 October – 2 November 2014 Venues across Brighton and Hove, Sussex

1. The Winners © Five Photography Collectives, Sputnik Photos

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