RADICAL photography festival ‘Ways of Looking’ opens in Bradford next month showcasing new work from some of Britain’s top snappers and artists.
Exploring the theme of Evidence, the festival opens on October 1 and includes premières of newly-commissioned works by internationally renowned Magnum photographer Donovan Wylie, and Turner Prize winning artists Douglas Gordon and Jeremy Deller.
“Bradford is edgy, post-industrial, and home to some fantastic art spaces. Its cosmopolitan and diverse population make it a great destination for festival goers."
Many of the works have been specially commissioned for the festival and will be shown for the first time in Bradford.
As well as museum and gallery venues, photography will be on display in public spaces and on billboards across the city, whilst a specially commissioned interactive digital game will transport participants on a journey through the spaces and histories of ‘hidden’ Bradford.
In a departure form other photography festivals, ‘Ways of Looking’ does not advocate a lead curator, but instead offers multiple curatorial approaches ranging from museum institutions to grass-roots collectives.
Highlights include Douglas Gordon’s large-scale window installation taking inspiration from the former glories of Bradford’s iconic Gaumont cinema, and Jeremy Deller’s personal take on Bradford’s civic photography collection.
Photography’s relationship to surveillance is explored by Donovan Wylie, who travelled to Afghanistan to document military watchtowers, whilst Simon Ford and Colin Lloyd have drawn on CCTV technology and scientific imaging techniques to examine the validity of optical evidence.
Red Saunders’ epic photographic tableaux vivants recreate momentous but overlooked events from Britain’s struggle for democracy, whilst Alan Dunn investigates the archive of West Yorkshire Police to re-examine crime photographs from the 1950s.
“A bit like Berlin, Bradford is edgy, post-industrial, and home to some fantastic art spaces. Its cosmopolitan and diverse population make it a great destination for festival goers,” says Nicola Stephenson, director of The Culture Company and co-founder.
‘Ways of Looking’ is organised by Impressions Gallery, National Media Museum, and The Culture Company, with partners Bradford Grid, Bradford Museums and Galleries, Fabric, Gallery II University of Bradford, and Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery and Studio Theatre. The festival is funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery Fund and supported by Bradford Metropolitan District Council.