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Liu Bolin exhibition headlines BIFB

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB), running from August 23 – has released its 2019 Core Program, with an exhibition by Chinese performance artist/photographer Liu Bolin headlining the festival.

The Liu Bolin exhibition, showing at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, is a ticketed event and costs $18.

The Core Program has 23 exhibitions so far. The number is steadily increasing as the website updates throughout the day (June 20). Here is a selection of Core Program exhibitions, with explanaotory curatorial comments. (In italics – we couldn’t write this stuff!)

Liu Bolin – Camouflage

Liu Bolin, ‘Hiding in the City Balloons’.

‘Camouflage examines Bolin’s career over almost two decades; from his best-known Hiding in the City series initiated in 2005 until now. ‘The exhibition aims to demonstrate how the artist’s strategy of camouflage has allowed him to produce images which resonate globally with viewers across time and place.

Liu Bolin’s images depict meticulously painted human bodies – often his own – hiding in the surroundings of everyday spaces and places. Through the feeling of connection that we share with the human bodies depicted, the viewer is invited to question how the dominant perspectives at play in everyday spaces and places shape our sense of self; feelings of pain, violence or loss, as part of a broader human search for mutual understanding and connectedness.

‘In this way the camouflaged body can be thought of as vehicle for thinking and making change; a metaphor for the idea of ethical living, where freedom from domination, fulfillment of one’s own potential and the exercise of human rights, along with the call for simpler ways of being in the natural world, are at the heart of the artist’s struggle.’
Venue: Art Gallery of Ballarat


The Core Program has 23 exhibitions so far. The number is steadily increasing as the website updates.

Here is a selection of Core Program exhibitions.

Jane Burton – A Phantom Lover
‘This collection depicts a landscape of the Central Highlands region beyond Ballarat that was shown to the artist by a friend. This is not the kind of place found by the roadside, but a hidden place that one must walk into for some distance, crossing a kind of psychic threshold.

BIFB Program Jane Burton
Photo: Jane Burton.

‘Inside, by a vast reservoir of water, dead trees once submerged now surface due to drought, their limbs like bones worn clean by the elements. It felt like standing in a cemetery, where once great trees had perished in stricken and mournful postures. The experience provoked the sensation of having passed into a mythical underworld, into a realm between earth and water and sky. In this landscape, one experiences that state of the sublime, where senses and imagination are awakened to the beauty, terror and wonder of nature. Feelings of exaltation and euphoria experienced at the very same time as feelings of deep melancholy and longing.’
Venue: Art Gallery of Ballarat

Adi Nes – Soldiers
‘Soldiers is a series of 22 photographs made between 1994 and 2000 by one of Israel’s leading photographers, Adi Nes.BIFB Program Adi Nes

‘The photos focus on intermediary moments between privacy and intimacy within the rigid framework of military life, and with the loss of innocence within masculinity. This series has won awards, and was described by the New York Times as “shrewd send ups of the pervasive, macho military presence in Israeli life”.’

Brian Brandt – A History of Living
‘A History of Living is a snapshot of 1970s and 1980s advertising from the archives of the late Brian Brandt. The exhibition features Brandt’s work in food and car photography. The photographs have a distinctive style favoured by magazines and advertising companies from the era, and capture the human inclination for desirable and aspirational objects like fast cars and decadent dining.’
Venue: Central Square Shopping Centre

Mathieu Asselin – Stock Market
‘French photographer, Mathieu Asselin, presents the reckless history of growth of the global biotechnology corporation Monsanto. Best-known as the leading manufacturer of insecticides and genetically engineered seeds, Monsanto’s practices and products have caused devastating human, ecological and economic impacts throughout the company’s long history.

BIFB program Mathieu Asselin.
Photo: Mathieu Asselin.

‘Asselin conducted extensive research, travelling through Vietnam and the United States to find people and places dramatically affected by the products manufactured and sold by Monsanto. In this hard-hitting documentation, Asselin exposes the global company’s practices and their cynical efforts to change their negative public image through children’s TV shows and marketing campaigns. For his presentation, he wanted to evidence the next chapter of the Monsanto saga, something he was not able to include in the book.
Venue: National Centre of Photography

Monty Coles – Outdoor Exhibition
‘Take in all the glamour and spontaneity of Monty Coles, exhibiting his iconic editorial photography for Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Coles’ fashion photography heavily informed the rich aesthetic of 1980s Australia, through his seminal work for Vogue Australia as photographer for more than 20 of their covers.
Now witness some of his most influential work in the non-conventional exhibition space of the Myer Ballarat windows. The location references Coles’ ongoing significance to the Australian fashion canon, as an artist who channels both the opulence and levity of editorial photography.’

But wait – there’s more! Click here to check it out.

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