Friday, October 14, 2011

Hijacked III artists just announced

Mark McPherson and fellow Hijacked III curators have just announced the artists involved for Hijacked 3 - AUS/UK.

The Australian artists involved are – Tony Albert, Warwick Baker, Bindi Cole, Christopher Day, Tarryn Gill & Pilar Mata Dupont, Toni Greaves, Petrina Hicks, Alin Huma, Katrin Koenning, David Manley, Jesse Marlow, Tracey Moffat, Justin Spiers, Michelle Tran, Christian Thompson, and Michael Ziebarth.

Work from these photographers will be shown alongside work from these British photographers – Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Natasha Caruana, Maciej Dakowicz, Melinda Gibson, Leonie Hampton, Seba Kurtis, Trish Morrissey, Laura Pannack, Sarah Pickering, Zhao Renhui, Simon Roberts, Helen Sears, Luke Stephenson, Wassink & Lundgren, and Tereza Zelenkova.

The exhibition will be launched at PICA during The Perth International Arts festival from 17 February 2012.

Congratulations to all photographers. Of course we are especially happy for the Australian mob. Two 2011 Bowness Photography Prize finalists are among them: Warwick Baker and David Manley.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In camera and in public

CCP's latest exhibition charts scary territory: the disruption of the "contract" that exists between the camera/photographer and their subject. This is a juicy subject for our time, as we become increasingly anxious about where we can take pictures and of whom -- or even when and where we are able to use devices like phones that have the potential to make photographs.

So the exhibition asks the question: what does it mean to take someone's picture without them knowing? Across a series of at times extraordinary pictures, we are given the chance to think about what it means to allow our photograph to be taken, and what it might mean to have our picture taken unawares. The effect of this, in the evidence of the pictures, is complex and varied.

In Bill Henson's magnificent photographs of people in crowds Untitled 1980/82, the effect is melancholic poetry -- the magical rich blacks and silvery greys of the prints are cut through with the loneliness, boredome and distraction of the subjects. In Cherine Fahd's pictures of habituees of her local park (the homeless, the addled, the stoned...), taken from the safety of her sixth-floor apartment, the effect is something much more ambivalent. Each of the pictures in the series The sleepers 2005/08 sits on the edges of photographic propriety, which is an uncomfortable and challenging place to be situated by a photographer. Among the most striking of the pictures in the show are a series of surveillance photographs taken by ASIO officers between 1949/80: because they were taken covertly by intelligence operatives, the photographs -- often showing benign subjects such as a man entering a doorway or a group of men chatting in a street -- somehow become suspicious. (If you search hard in the photographs of street marches, you'll spot one of Melbourne's best-known photographers, but we can't reveal her name...)

The money shot in the exhibition, though, are the images from Kohei Yochiyuki's infamous series The park 1971/79 which document public sex acts in Tokyo parks and the endeavours of voyeurs to look and touch. In these pictures, the photographer, the voyeurs, the performers -- themselves often unaware of the voyeurs circulating around them -- and us as viewers are all drawn into a murky web of who has the right to look at whom and under what terms. Its confronting and weirdly titillating at the same time.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vale Robert Whitaker

It is with sadness that we note the recent passing of great Australian celebrity photographer Robert Whitaker. Although born in England, Whitaker spent his teenage years and early twenties in Melbourne, where he became friends of the iconic Mora family.

In 1963 Whitaker took this striking double portrait of Mirka and Georges Mora -- an image that in turn inspired Nat Thomas and Concetina Inserra's 2008 Bowness Photography Prize-winning picture "Portrait of mother and daughter". Whitaker went on to become court photographer to Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, and was in many ways responsible for the cool image of the Stones, the Beatles and many of the 1960s' other cultural icons.

Victorian Indigenous Art Awards

Entries are also due soon for the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards. The deadline for entries is 28 October 2011. As well as the $25 00 Deadly Award, there are three $5 000 awards and a $2 500 People's Choice Award. The exhibition at fortyfivedownstairs generated terrific media interest last year.

The shortlist for this valuable prize always includes a good range of photographic practice. In fact, the last two winners presented photographic material: Bindi Cole won the Deadly in 2010 for one of her wonderful sistagirl portraits, while Ben McKeown won last year for a large Polaroid of a man holding two boomerangs. The exhibition of finalists for the 2012 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards will be held at fortyfivedownstairs between 10-30 March 2012.

NewNorth Photography Prize

You've got just under a week to get your entries in for NewNorth's annual photography prize. With $5 000 in prizes and a chance to exhibit and sell your work at NewNorth's Fairfield gallery, there's plenty of reasons for submitting your entry form to Michael and Suzanne at NewNorth by 4.00PM next Tuesday 11 October. The winner will be announced between 2.00-4.00PM Sunday 23 October. Ironically, last year's winner was Andrew Chapman, the subject of our last post!