2015 CCP Lectures

Centre for Contemporary Photography presents an annual series of public lectures.

Panel discussion; The Judgement of Paris: Melbourne's love affair with French theory, on the occasion of Roland Barthes 100th birthday
Wednesday 11 November 2015, 6pm

Roland Barthes Reading Group with Giles Feilkes
Wednesday 28 October 2015, 6pm

Echo Chamber 4: Emerging research on photography
Thursday 25 June 2015, 6pm

Memory: sound, site and object through theory, practice and the emotions
Session Two: Wednesday 19 August 2015, 6pm

Curating Conflict
Saturday 8 August 2015, 12—1pm

Memory: sound, site and object through theory, practice and the emotions
Session One: Wednesday 5 August 2015, 6pm

Tracey Moffatt presents a tangent of thoughts that helped her to create ART CALLS her TV show
Tuesday 7 July 2015, 6pm

Echo Chamber 3: Emerging research on photography
Thursday 25 June 2015, 6pm

Stein Rønning Artist Talk
Thursday 18 June 2015, 6pm

Echo Chamber 2: Emerging research on photography
Thursday 25 March 2015, 6pm

Join the conversation on Twitter #CCPlectures

Roland Barthes centenary discussions
co-presented with Gertrude Contemporary

Roland Barthes

In 1980, Roland Barthes died and one of his most championed books, Camera Lucida, was published. At the time, the New York Times wrote that Camera Lucida was "more intimate than theoretical. Barthes bites into photography like Proust into a madeleine and what results is an intricate, quirky and ultimately frustrating meditation linking photography to death."

Barthes' reach went further, of course, than photography, and as a literary theorist, philosopher, linguist, critic, and semiotician his influence has been felt by generations.

This year, 100 years since Barthes' birth, CCP invites you to join together for two evenings in recognition of his legacy.

Image: Jerry Bauer

gertrude contemporary

Roland Barthes Reading Group with Giles Feilkes

Dust off your copy of Camera Lucida and come to CCP for an evening of led discussion around this familiar and enduring text.

Giles Fielke is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, working on a counter-modern history for the organisation of images, demonstrated by separate artwork-projects of the filmmakers Hollis Frampton and Harun Farocki. He has written for Discipline, Meanjin, Higher Arc and is also a founding member of the Artist Film Workshop, located in Swanston St, Melbourne.

Wednesday 28 October, 6pm
Bring your copy of Camera Lucida, we'll provide the chairs, Giles will provide the prompts
Gold coin donation upon entry
Bookings required
Book here>

Panel discussion; The Judgement of Paris: Melbourne's love affair with French theory, on the occasion of Roland Barthes 100th birthday

Three engaged thinkers, Kevin Murray, Ann Debono and Bryan Cooke, have agreed to share their thoughts on three different aspects of French theory, with an overarching nod to Roland Barthes.

Kevin Murray will link back to the 1980s, specifically the Judgement of Paris series at Gertrude contemporary and the local relevance of French Theory for Melbourne artists and commentators.

Ann Debono will address the way that Barthes, Derrida and Baudrillard all suggest a suspicion of images as ideological programming devices, and Bryan Cooke will look from Barthes to Ranciere.

Wednesday 11 November, 6pm
Gold coin donation upon entry
Members, FREE
Bookings required
Book here>

Echo Chamber: Emerging research on photography

Wednesday 7 October 2015, 6pm
Centre for Contemporary Photography
Gold-coin doantion, no bookings required.

CCP's Echo Chamber represents a series of occasional, ongoing public programs showcasing current emerging research in all areas of photography, including historical research, technology, communications and contemporary discussion.

Applications to present research for future Echo Chamber public programs are welcome.


Gallery Manager, Centre for Contemporary Photography


Jane Brown

The Backwards Glance: Art History and Australian Photography

Taking as its point of departure Helen Ennis' 2011 article 'Other histories: photography and Australia', this presentation will look at how Art History as a discipline has and has not contributed to our understanding of Australian photography, and how, in any case, photographers in Australia have engaged with Art History. The paper will ask such straightforward questions as 'What defines Art History as a discipline?' and 'What peculiar insights might it offer the study of Australian photography?' before looking at the other side of the equation: 'How have Australian photographers responded to Art History?' The work of artists such as Bill Henson, Fiona Hall, Anne Zahalka, Anne Ferran, Lyndell Brown and Charles Green, Siri Hayes, Brook Andrew, Nici Cumpston, Ross Coulter, and Patrick Pound will be discussed.

Hugh Hudson has a PhD in Art History from The University of Melbourne, and has worked widely as a lecturer, supervisor, and researcher. He has held fellowships at The British Museum and The State Library of Victoria, and has published articles in The Burlington Magazine, the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Master Drawings, and Oud Holland. His interests cover a broad range of media and periods, from medieval manuscripts to contemporary multimedia.

Image: Jane Brown, Decommissioned Art History Library, University of Melbourne, 2012-2013, courtesy the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney.

James Bridle

A Different Eye: Contemporary Art and the Military Drone

Military drones or, as the United States military refer to them, 'unmanned aerial vehicles' (UAVs) and 'unmanned combat air vehicles' (UCAVs), signal a sinister technological development in which the high-resolution video camera has become mobile and armed. Alongside an increase in public awareness and critical theory regarding drone wars, many artists have made works critiquing these machines and questioning them within broader technological contexts. Although part of a military network of observation, the data-driven visual capability of the drone is indicative of the larger online networks in which the public have access to satellite imagery and video feeds across physical boundaries. Photography, film and public image databases such as Google Earth have thus been used by artists to reveal little-known details about military drones and the under-reported conflicts in which they are used.

Robert Shumoail-Albazi is currently completing his honours year in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Monash University. His research focuses on the use of military drones as a subject in contemporary art practices including considerations of art and technology, surveillance and online networks.

Image: James Bridle, Dryden Research Centre, California, 26.08.2012 as part of Watching the Watchers (2013-), Courtesy of the artist.

Don Whitman

Straight Photography Under the Queer Gaze

This research casts a net into the concept of straight photography. The term 'straight' can be interpreted, redefined and reimagined within creative photographic practice as well as examined through the physicality of a photograph using pin-sharp focus, strong composition, and exemplary tonal range. When exploring straight photography one must acknowledge the underlying connotations to human sexuality and thus my research also spills into the realm of queer theory. Through this talk, I will look at artists from the past century who have grappled with the concept of 'straightness' in their work and also how straight photography has evolved into the digital age. Straight is about adhering to the rules, whereas queer resists boundaries and refuses to be defined. How might we think about straight photography in a post sexual-revolution context? Now that it is no longer necessary to subvert the straight photograph in order for queer people to avoid persecution, what does it mean to discuss queer concepts using straight photography as a framework?

Wil Polson is a PhD Candidate and tutor at RMIT University. An early career researcher, Wil's work centres around themes of autobiography, the personal photographic essay and queer theory. Wil makes photographs using FujiFilm FP-100c in order to explore notions of straight photography, the archive and the cumulative assemblage of identity.

Image: Don Whitman, Western Photography Guild Catalogue, 1955, Private Collection, Courtesy of Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson, New York.

Memory: sound, site and object through theory, practice and the emotions
Session TWO

A collaboration between the Centre for Contemporary Photography and ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

Nova Paul

Wednesday 19 August 2015, 6pm

Gold coin donation
No bookings required

CHAIR: Pippa Milne, Curator CCP

CHE Professor Jane Davidson
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
Music, Memory and Emotions

This talk explores the mechanisms in operation as we experience emotion listening to music, specifically when the music is being used for therapeutic benefits.

Jane Davidson works in the disciplines of music psychology and education, history of emotions, as well as reflective practice research. She has secured a range of research grants in both Australia and overseas and is currently Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. As a practitioner, she has worked as an opera singer and a music theatre director, collaborating with groups such as Opera North in UK, Dramma per musica in Portugal, and the West Australian Opera Company. Research areas include music psychology and education, history of emotions, reflective practice research and vocal studies.

Nova Paul
Filmmaker and visual artist.
The Days Before Us

Nova Paul will speak about her ongoing research into the shape of time. Key to Paul's discourse is the notion of Ka mura, ka muri (often translated as we walk into the future backwards with our eyes firmly on the past) presents a notion of te wa – time within Te Ao Maori, the Maori world. This phrase presents a spatial gesture that orientates a conceptual approach to Nova's film making practice, where notions of progression, the future, the past and the present moment in relation to tense in Te Ao Maori figure as a type of embodied time that is counter to neo-liberal discourse.

Nova Paul is a New Zealander of Nga Puhi decent. Her film-making practice draws from early cinema, experimental film histories and Fourth Cinema discourses to consider the poetics and politics of place and time, self-determinacy and the role of story telling. Her works include This is not Dying, (2010), Pink and White Terraces (2006) Still Light (2015) and have been screened widely both internationally and domestically. Paul co-edited PLACE: Local Knowledge and New Media Practice (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008) ,which examines how new media has influenced our attachment to place and Form Next to Form Next to Form (Dent De Leone, UK, 2012). Nova Paul is a senior lecturer at AUT University and she is undertaking a PhD with Waikato University, New Zealand. She will be in Melbourne on an RMIT artist residency and is one of the exhibiting artists in For Future Reference.

Professor Michael Saling
Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at The University of Melbourne
Mnemonists, amestics, and the imperfections of normal memory

In terms of the number of cellular elements it contains, and the innumerable connections between them, the human brain is a vast system. This universally acknowledged "fact", together with our modern experience of devices that record and retain perfectly, leads to a yearning for unfailing, indeed photographic, memory. In this talk I will touch on the nature of "perfect" memory (mnemonism), its extreme opposite (amnesia), and the creative advantages of imperfection.

Michael is a Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at The University of Melbourne, and Director of Australia's first Professional Program in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Melbourne, having been appointed in 1988 as the successor to the Dr Kevin Walsh. He is also Director of Neuropsychology at the Austin and Heidelberg Repatriation Hospitals, and an Honorary Professorial Fellow at The Florey Institute for Neurosciences and Mental Health. He was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (26 January, 2015), for significant service to education in the field of clinical neuropsychology as an academic, researcher, and clinician.

curating conflict

RMIT will host Nova Paul in an artist residency.
RMIT University

Image: Nova Paul

This is not Dying 2010 (film still)
16mm film transfered to HD Video
20 minutes

edition 5 + AP

courtesy the artist

Curating Conflict

curating conflict

Saturday 8 August 2015

Gold coin donation
No bookings required

Join Daniel Palmer in conversation with Tate Modern curator Shoair Mavlian and artists Christopher Stewart and Esther Teichmann on the curation of their two respective exhibitions and publications relating to photography and conflict - Conflict, Time Photography (Tate Modern and Tate Publishing 2014) and Staging Disorder (University of the Arts London and Black Dog Publishing London 2015). Both exhibitions approached the photography of conflict from a temporal perspective - that of aftermath or anticipation. Shoair Mavlian will also discuss the Tate's recent collection and exhibition activities relating to photography.

Copies of both books will be available to purchase after the talk.

Shoair Mavlian is a curator at Tate Modern, London, focusing primarily on photography, working on the research and delivery of exhibitions and displays across Tate Modern and acquisitions for the international collection. She co-curated the major exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography (Tate Modern, London, 2014) and the collaborative exhibition Project Space: A Chronicle of Interventions (Tate Modern, London and TEOR/éTica, Costa Rica, 2014). She has also worked on many of the photography displays of the permanent collection across Tate Modern including New Documentary Forms (2011), Harry Callahan (2013), Charlotte Posenenske and Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (2014) and Close Up: Identity and the Photographic Portrait (2015).

Daniel Palmer is Associate Dean of Graduate Research and teaches in the Art History & Theory Program at MADA. His publications include Twelve Australian Photo Artists (Piper Press, 2009) co-authored with Blair French, Digital Light (Open Humanities Press, 2015) edited with Sean Cubitt and Nate Tkacz, and The Culture of Photography in Public Space (Intellect 2015), edited with Anne Marsh and Melissa Miles. He is working on an ARC-funded research project with Martyn Jolly around photography curating.

Christopher Stewart is Associate Professor in Photography at the University of Technology Sydney in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building. He has exhibited widely including at Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. His work is featured in photographic surveys including The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames and Hudson and 100 European Photographers, EXIT Madrid.

Esther Teichmann is an artist and writer and recent group and solo exhibitions have included InAppropriation at the Houston Centre of Photography and Moonswimmers at the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum Mannheim in Germany. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Levallois Award and the subsequent exhibition Fractal Scars, Salt Water and Tears was shown in Paris and in London. Her work is featured in important survey publications including In Our World: New Photography from Britain edited by Filippo Maggia, 100 New Artists edited by Francesca Gavin, Laurence King and Phaidon's Looking at Photographs by David Campany. She is a Senior Lecturer at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London and a lecturer at the Royal College of Art in London.

About the projects

Conflict, Time, Photography
From the seconds after a bomb is detonated to a former scene of battle years after a war has ended, this moving exhibition focuses on the passing of time, tracing a diverse and poignant journey through over 150 years of conflict around the world, since the invention of photography. In an innovative move, the works are ordered according to how long after the event they were created from moments, days and weeks to decades later. The result is the chance to make never-before-made connections while viewing the legacy of war as artists and photographers have captured it in retrospect.

Staging Disorder
Staging Disorder considers the contemporary representation of the real in relation to photography, architecture and modern conflict. The exhibition and book includes selected images from seven photographic series that were made independently of each other - Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin's Chicago, Beate Geissler & Oliver Sans' personal kill, Claudio Hils' Red Land Blue Land, An-My Lê's 29 Palms, Richard Mosse's Airside, Sarah Pickering's Public Order and Christopher Stewart's Kill House. The works by these artists provoke a series of questions concerning the nature of truth as it manifests itself in contemporary photographic practice.

Supported by Monash University Art Design & Architecture and University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Building.
curating conflict

Memory: sound, site and object through theory, practice and the emotions
Session ONE

A collaboration between the Centre for Contemporary Photography and ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

Justine Varga

Wednesday 5 August 2015, 6pm

Gold coin donation
No bookings required

CHAIR: Naomi Cass, Director CCP

Professor Stephanie Trigg
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
The Bluestone Project – memories, blogging, images, histories

This talk describes the blog My Year with Bluestone, and the way its impressions and iPhone pictures of bluestone sites around Melbourne and Victoria will be developed into a book. 

Stephanie Trigg is Professor of English Literature in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, and leads the Shaping the Modern program for the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. She works in medieval English literature, early modern literature and is developing an interest in contemporary eco-materialism. She blogs at

Albertine Hamilton
Conservator, State Library Victoria
Reprogramming cultural memory: conservation in the digital age

The role of the conservator has traditionally been associated with the preservation and restoration of the tangible aspect of cultural material. The goal has not only been to prevent further damage or loss, to arrest physical change, but to return the artefact to a perceived 'representative state' or condition to reveal an object's true nature. In this way it could be argued that we are not preserving items of legacy, but of historical memory. However, with the digital age well and truly upon us, matters of conservation ethics, principles and methodologies are being revisited. This presentation will consider recent conservation case studies where the question of historical veracity has been paramount.

Albertine Hamilton is a paper conservator with the State Library of Victoria, where she primarily works with archival documents on paper and parchment, maps and plans, photographic materials, and works of art on paper. Albertine graduated from the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne in 2011. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Art Painting from RMIT University.

Daniel R. Little
PhD, Cognitive Psychology, The University of Western Australia
A Psychological Theory of Memory and False Memory

Memory is a dynamic process. Cues in our environment are used to retrieve previously stored information from memory. Can we always trust the information that is retrieved? New memories are formed by filtering information through attention and storing that information as context-dependent episodes. What are the consequences of delegating this storage to digital devices like smartphones? This talk will discuss our current theoretical understanding of memory, what this theory tell us about false memories, and the benefits and detriments of supplementing our memories with digital storage

Daniel R. Little, PhD, Cognitive Psychology, The University of Western Australia is the head of the Knowledge, Information, & Learning Laboratory at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne. Dr Little's research focuses on developing mathematical models of perceptual decision making and recognition memory.

curating conflict

Images (left to right): Justine Varga

Moving out #5 from Moving out 2012
Moving out #7 from Moving out 2012
both works
48 x 38.7 cm
type C print
courtesy the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney

Tracey Moffatt presents a tangent of thoughts that helped her to create ART CALLS her TV show

Art Calls Image

Tuesday 7 July

$10 students and CCP members
$15 non-members
Bookings essential.

Due to popular demand, Tracey Moffatt's lecture will now be presented in a larger venue at RMIT.
Swanston Academic Building, Building 80, Swanston Street, RMIT University
Level 4, Room 11

"I would rather talk to another artist about their art practice than discuss my own work", Tracey Moffatt said in a recent interview published in the Spirited catalogue for the Queensland Art Gallery.
We're not sure how we managed it, but Moffatt has agreed to talk at CCP!

This is an extraordinary opportunity to hear directly from Tracey Moffatt, one of Australia's best known and most influential contemporary artists. In conjunction with her exhibition at CCP, Moffatt will give an exclusive public talk at the gallery. Join us for an evening of information sharing and discussion around Moffatt's enduring and wide reaching practice.

As an artist within the VCE syllabus in 2015, this is a valuable opportunity for educators to hear, first hand from Moffat.

Born in Brisbane in 1960, Tracey Moffatt studied visual communications at the Queensland College of Art, graduating in 1982. She has exhibited extensively both in Australia and internationally since her first solo exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney in 1989. Selected solo exhibitions include: Tracey Moffatt, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2012; and Tracey Moffatt: Between Dreams and Reality, Spazio Oberdan, Milan, 2006. Comprehensive survey exhibitions of Moffatt's work have been held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2003-4, the Hasselblad Centre in Goteburg, Sweden in 2004 and at the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide in 2011.

Moffatt first gained significant critical acclaim when her short film Night Cries was selected for official competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. Her first feature film, beDevil, was also selected for Cannes in 1993. In 1997, she was invited to exhibit in the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale. A major exhibition of Moffatt's work was later held at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York in 1997/98, which consolidated her international reputation.

Moffatt has been based in New York since 1997 and recently returned to live in Australia.

Presented with a little help from our friends at Michaels Camera Video & Digital, Melbourne.

Supported by
RMIT University

Image: Tracey Moffatt
Art Calls: Episode One 2014 (video still)
HD video: 28 min 0 sec, black and white and colour, stereo sound
dimensions variable
courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
image courtesy of Mulesfilm

Echo Chamber: Emerging research on photography

Thursday 25 June 2015, 6pm
Centre for Contemporary Photography
Free event, no bookings required.

CCP's Echo Chamber represents a series of occasional, ongoing public programs showcasing current emerging research in all areas of photography, including historical research, technology, communications and contemporary discussion.

Applications to present research for future Echo Chamber public programs are welcome.


Director, Centre for Contemporary Photography


Does the policy fit the crime? Government responses to high-profile offending

This research seeks to explore the relationship between high profile crime, the media and criminal justice policy change in Australia. While there is a wealth of literature on each of the themes, little scholarly attention has focused on examining how the three elements interact and this project seeks to help address this gap. The relevance of the research being conducted at this time is apparent when one considers the public and political responses to the murder of Jill Meagher, the spotlight on sex offenders since Brian Keith Jones (Mr Baldy) was released from prison and the ongoing struggle of Julian Knight to gain parole. While two of these crimes were committed several years ago, they continue to attract media attention and community concern at regular intervals. Large, carefully selected colour photographs of both offender and victim accompany emotive and sensationalist headlines and work to keep the community and politicians interested and engaged in these notorious cases. Through analysing the hardcopy and online newspaper media coverage of four prominent crimes, and conducting interviews with key actors, this research aims to expose the level of influence the media has in changing criminal justice policy in Victoria.

Hannah Williams is a PhD candidate in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She completed a Master of Public Policy and Management at the University of Melbourne in 2011 and has worked for several years within the criminal justice system. She is interested in how the media influences public opinion and political reaction in relation to high profile crime.

Lucy Willet

Exploring new methods in the preservation of motion picture film

Cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate motion picture films are inherently unstable materials, with deterioration accelerated through poor storage (Morgan 1991, p9).

Effective preservation of these materials largely relies on expensive storage methods. Often in conjunction with cold storage, adsorbent materials are used in collection stores to trap excess moisture and the autocatalytic vapors given off by degrading cellulose acetate and cellulose nitrate films. Commonly these adsorbent materials are activated charcoal, molecular sieves or silica gel. These materials have proven effective in extending the lifespan of cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate, but they can be difficult to obtain and expensive to buy. This presentation will present research into alternate adsorbent materials to use in the preservation of motion pictures films that are accessible and more cost effective. Tea leaves will be explored as a potential alternative to commercial products. Three different kinds of tea were analyzed in the course of this research; black tea, green tea and red tea (Rooibos). These teas were tested in comparison to activated charcoal, molecular sieves and silica gel to determine their relative absorbance through water adsorption testing.

Lucy Willet is an Objects Conservator graduating from the University of Melbourne Masters of Cultural Material Conservation in 2012. She has an interest in the conservation of photographic materials motivated by an undergraduate degree in Fine Art Photography from RMIT. Currently Lucy is Collection Relocation Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Todd Johnson

Playing Against the Camera: Materialist Photography in the Digital Age

The camera is an apparatus that distances human control by limiting a certain level of the operator's involvement. In the digital age, we have become accustomed to the camera apparatus controlling our movements; it passes through our eyes and our consciousness without being noticed. Knowledge of the technical, mechanical and algorithmic components is abandoned as the camera apparatus determines ones decisions through its internally hidden and complex program. This process is an illusion of freedom, a subliminal programming of ritualistic, automatic actions. Having identified the limitations of conventional photographic technique, we are led to ask if a more deliberate 'materialist' approach will open the parameters and press the givens of photographic representation. This presentation investigates a number of 'materialist photographers' that supplement and/or extend the camera apparatus, by allowing their own body and elements of the landscape to more overtly steer the photographic process.

Todd Johnson is an artist and educator currently undertaking a PhD at Deakin University. His research interests include photographic authorship, index and materialism in the digital age. Todd is a casual lecturer at Deakin University and Australian Catholic University in the Department of Photography and Visual Arts.

Image: Todd Johnson, Evidence #89 2014

Artist Talk
Stein RØnning

Stein Ronning

Thursday 18 June 2015, 6pm
Centre for Contemporary Photography
Free event, no bookings required.

Resituating time, lost time re-embedded, or how Chronos eats his stone

Since Bernd and Hilla Becher, fine art photography has been practiced with great fervour. It has been disseminated and analysed, and as an art form, it has become an auto-critical practice. It's even started to find its own way of dying as its very mode of existence, in much the same way as painting has for quite some time.

Modern photography appeared as a potential artistic medium (plate photography in the 1820s) much at the same time as a modern systemic concept of art is settled (Hegel's lectures on aesthetics delivered between 1818—29 and the famous notion that art is something of the past). Now with photography's referent being diffused, its indexical capacity blurred, and its re-materialization through digitization, the very material condition of the medium has changed. It has changed from an optical trajectory in what's presumed to be a transparent medium to a positive and opaque visual screen upon which any projection of image or phantasm may be configured. In this way, it has perhaps come clean as a ground proper for true images. This happens at a point in history where the very notion of history is seen as problematic, as it seems to go on repeating itself in a sinister kind of affair, in the positive opaque medium of its own management.

In discussing the above issues and more, Stein points to what he sees in his own photographic work, from a sculptor's point of view.

Supported by

OCA Normay

Image: Stein Rønning, Renient 1 2014, inkjet print, 42.5 x 42cm, courtesy the artist.

Echo Chamber: Emerging research on photography

Thursday 26 March 2015, 6pm
Centre for Contemporary Photography
Free event, no bookings required.

CCP's Echo Chamber represents a series of occasional, ongoing public programs showcasing current emerging research in all areas of photography, including historical research, technology, communications and contemporary discussion.

Applications to present research for future Echo Chamber public programs are welcome.


Pippa Milne
Curator, Centre for Contemporary Photography


Kelvin Lau

Exploring emotional distress in young people from a migrant background through photo-elicitation interviewing

There is currently a lack of information available on why young people in Australia do not seek help for mental health concerns, despite having the highest rates of self-reported mental disorder. Even less is known about the burden of distress in those from a migrant background. Novel qualitative research methods may help address the knowledge gap concerning this burden, as well as assist with identifying barriers to help-seeking.

This project seeks an in-depth understanding of how migration and cultural difference can shape the experiences of emotional distress in young people from a migrant background in Australia through the use of photo-elicitation interviewing. This is a method where participants take photographs to represent lived experience, and then discuss their meaning in subsequent interviews. It also seeks to identify and address the methodological and epistemological uncertainties of applying photo-elicitation in transcultural mental health research by evaluating the research process through critical reflexivity.

Kelvin Lau is a PhD candidate at the Department of General Practice, Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne. He completed a Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne in 2013, and currently works as a medical practitioner at Headspace Collingwood. He is interested in how culture and society can shape our understandings of health and illness.

Image: Kelvin Lau Going back to where I came from (as instructed) 2011.

Peter Wille

Photography of Activist Movements

Photography has a capacity to contribute to activist movements. John Miller photographed the anti-apartheid protests in New Zealand in 1981. Recently he has composed a two-channel video that presents, or perhaps represents, his documentary practise, which was embedded in activism, as a historical account. His video is compelling today because the future that the activist movement projected thirty years ago can be studied historically. Miller's images partake in both projection and retrospection. Judith Joy Ross photographed the American activist movement that opposed the so-called coalition of the willing's war on Iraq in 2006. Like Miller, she envisioned her work as a photographer would have some historical capacity. Joel Sternfeld photographed people that participated in the protests against the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy. He set out to make images that were distinctive from the journalistic style photographs that mediate demonstrations and protests through the narrowing filter of newspaper agendas. Sternfeld engages in a concept of the active capacity of documentary photography in a way that is similar to Miller and Ross. This capacity of photography, which these projects suppose and accept, is a rich theme for discussion.

Tim Alves is a PhD candidate in the Facility of Art, Design and Architecture at Monash University. His research focuses on artists' images of protests, demonstrations and rallies in the 21st century and he examines recent theoretical efforts towards affirming parallel capacities of art and politics.

Image: John Miller Tour Scrums : Protesting Black & Blue, courtesy of John Miller and Monash University Museum of Art.

James Nasmyth

You Saw the Whole of the Moon: Imagination, Photography, and the Moon

The way in which the Moon is perceived has changed over time. Photography has played a major role in this, from shaky beginnings through telescopes to the latest high resolution images from NASA. However, images produced by technology remain far from 'complete', instead they act as fragments or models, providing information on which the viewer imaginatively builds. How the Moon is perceived is therefore symbiotically linked to the images made of it, and a complete view of the Moon is only constructed within the non-localized zone of the imagination.

Colleen Boyle is currently completing her PhD by project at RMIT University where she is investigating how the imagination is used in conjunction with photographs to perceive unseen aspects of reality. Her research interests include theories of perception, representation, and scientific observation (particularly space exploration). Initially trained as a printmaker at Monash University, Colleen's practice has diversified into the intersection of photography and sculpture. When she grows up she hopes to be an astronaut.

Image: The lunar surface as imaged by James Nasmyth in 1897

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