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FORMAT19: The Ball by Ingvar Kenne


Before social media and online dating the Australian outback had a more traditional way for young men and women to meet up – The Bachelor and Spinster Ball. This uniquely Australian tradition, originating in the Nineteenth Century, gave single men and women from the rural Australia an opportunity to find their soul mate over formal black-tie dinner and dances.

But Ingvar Kenne’s book The Ball tells a very different story. The 21st Century version of this once sober dating game has turned into a series of riotous festivals and alcohol-fuelled raves as thousands of young Australians gather together for the chance of finding love while enjoying a weekend of drinking, dancing and debauchery.

For more than a year Kenne travelled across Australia capturing the chaos and confusion of these drunken parties as initially smartly dressed bachelor and spinsters became increasingly dishevelled.

The pattern of confusion and disorder shown in Kenne’s photographs suggest a youthful hedonism where chaos becomes both a representation and a metaphor for living only in the now with an intensity that suggests that life is forever and that neither yesterday or tomorrow matter.


FORMAT19: University of Derby, Derby 15th March – 14th April



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