'Photogenic' is a series of five lectures and forums at Centre for Contemporary Photography between July and November 2003, featuring ten guest speakers from around Australia. Keynote lectures will be presented by two of the founding curators of contemporary Australian photography, Gael Newton and Ian North, and one of Australia's preeminent Indigenous photo-based artists, Destiny Deacon.
In its current sense of a pleasing subject for photography, the term 'photogenic' appears superficial and banal. However, the literal meaning of the word, which translates as 'light-produced', suggests the centrality of the surface within photographic process and materiality. In this context, the photogenic encourages a reinvestment in surfaces as complex mechanisms of meaning production.
'Photogenic' is a series of five lectures and forums at Centre for Contemporary Photography between July and November 2003, featuring ten guest speakers from around Australia. Keynote lectures will be presented by two of the founding curators of contemporary Australian photography, Gael Newton and Ian North, and one of Australia's preeminent Indigenous photo-based artists, Destiny Deacon. The series also includes two special forums, one on the intersections between art and film and another on the conservation and collecting of digital photography. If you want to be informed about the dynamic world of Australian photo-based art, don't miss this series.
July 9: Gael Newton
August 6 : Art+Film Forum
September 3: Ian North
October 8: Digital Photography: Conservation and Collecting Forum
November 26: Destiny Deacon
July 9 [6.30pm]
In recent years Australian photo-based artists have enjoyed an unprecedented profile within the international art world. The rapidly diversifying terrain of post-millennial print and televisual media in an era of escalating world conflicts has also fuelled a dynamic resurgence of documentary photography. Can there be a one-size-fits-all approach to evaluating current reportage, photojournalism or personal documentary practice as well as the concept based photomedia work which has dominated the last few decades of museum and dealer gallery productions? Is there a need for a customised critical language to accommodate bodies of documentary work which may have several configurations across the page and the walls of an exhibition space?
Gael Newton is Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia and author of Shades of Light: Photography and Australia 1839-1988 (1988). In recent years she has researched and mounted several exhibitions at the NGA looking at aspects of post-war photojournalism and in particular the development of the photo-essay in colour.
August 6 [8pm]
Brendan Lee, Adrian Martin, Clare Stewart. Chaired by Daniel Palmer
This free public forum accompanies the Art+Film exhibition at Centre for Contemporary Photography, and is part of the Talking Pictures program of the 2003 Melbourne International Film Festival. Curated by Natasha Bullock and Brendan Lee, the exhibition explores the effect and influence of cinema on contemporary artistic imagination and practice and includes leading and emerging Australian artists such as Philip Brophy, Starlie Geikie, David Noonan and Ricky Swallow. Speakers Brendan Lee, Adrian Martin and Clare Stewart will use the CCP exhibition as a starting point for a more general discussion around the many and diverse intersections of art and film.
Brendan Lee is a Melbourne-based artist working in the field of randomly sequenced video installation. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, BUS gallery and 1st Floor. Lee is the curator of the PROJEKT video art archives and gallery co-ordinator of the artist-run space THE KINGS, as well as co-curator of Art+Film. Adrian Martin has had a long and distinguished association with film. Australia's foremost film critic, he has published a number of books including Phantasms (1994), and was editor of Film - Matters of Style (1992). He is currently film critic for The Age. Clare Stewart is Cinema Programmer at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Prior to this she worked as project manager and curator of the Screen Events department at the Australian Film Institute and managed the Melbourne CinÃ©mathÃ¨que for several years. Her commentary on moving image arts has been published in Cinema Papers, Metro Magazine and Real Time and heard on ABC 774 and 3RRR. The forum will be chaired by CCP Project Coordinator Daniel Palmer.
September 3 [6.30pm]
Spooked! Art Museums, Photography and the Problem of the Real
Photography, to the curator, is just another art medium, right? Wrong. Museums perpetuate confusion after confusion in defining art, a problem compounded with respect to photography by questions about the real. Both the computer's historical dissolution of postmodernism and recent probings in philosophical aesthetics create new levels of complication. The curator's job just got harder...
Ian North is an Adelaide-based artist and writer. In a former life he was an art museum curator for fifteen years, including Foundation Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia in the early 1980s. He has published extensively on Australia art, from recent essays concerning the impact of Indigenous art to writing or editing books on Dorrit Black, Hans Heysen and Margaret Preston. His own photography began with 'large colour' suburban landscapes in the late 1970s and from the mid 1980s has comprised a play of painting, photography and (latterly) digital media.
October 8 [6.30pm]
Digital Photography: Conservation and Collecting
Katy Glen, Angeletta Leggio, Sarrah Shapley, Les Walkling. Chaired by Daniel Palmer
Confused about the difference between a Pegasus and a Lightjet? Worried about the stability of inkjet prints? In light of the fact that a large majority of contemporary photographers employ digital printing processes, this forum will explore the various available options and look at issues related to identification, terminology, stability and factors relating to permanence. In addition, time will be given for consideration of less obvious issues related to current shifts in digital image making, such as the end of the photographic 'original' - the negative. Knowledge, experiences and opinions will be offered by experts from various quarters: Katy Glen, Paper Conservator at the State Library of Victoria, will discuss these issues in light of the photograph as a historical record; Angeletta Leggio, Conservator of Photographs at the National Gallery of Victoria, will address the conservation process in an art photography department; Sarrah Shapley, contemporary art specialist at Shapiro Auctioneers, will offer the collector's view; and Les Walkling, distinguished Australian artist and Coordinator of Media Arts at RMIT, will speak from an artistic and educational perspective. This unique session will be of interest to photo-based artists working with digital processes, art collectors, critics and anyone with a passion for contemporary photography.
November 26 [6.30pm]
Principally known for her photographic and video work, Melbourne-based Indigenous artist Destiny Deacon is also a writer, broadcaster and performer. Produced from her living room/studio in Brunswick, her work employs irony and 'blak' humour to make challenging statements about Western perceptions of Aboriginal people. This is a rare opportunity to hear Deacon speak in-depth about her practice, Indigenous issues and the contemporary context.
Destiny Deacon was born of K'ua K'ua and Erub/Mer peoples in Maryborough, Queensland. After working as a history teacher, she began taking photographs in 1990 and first exhibited her work that same year. Deacon's work has since appeared in many major local and international exhibitions including Documenta 11 (2002), Yokohama Triennale (2001), Perspecta (1999 and 1993), Melbourne International Biennial (1999), the second Asia-Pacific Triennial (1996), Photography is Dead: Long Live Photography! (1996), the first Johannesburg Biennale (1995), and the fifth Havana Biennial (1994). She is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney.
All sessions are at CCP (205 Johnston St Fitzroy Vic 3065) on Wednesday nights at 6.30pm, except the Art+Film Forum, which is a free event held as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival's 'Talking Pictures' at the Festival Club, Forum Theatre, 154 Flinders St (Corner Russell St), City, at 8pm on August 6.
Single Tickets: $7 full / $5 concession Season Pass: $20 full / $15 concession
Seats are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. To order a Season Pass, providing discounted admission to lectures and forums, telephone +613 9417 1549
Centre for Contemporary Photography
205 Johnston St
Fitzroy Vic 3065