2016 CCP Lectures

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

What Makes A Great Photograph?
Thursday 15 December, 6—8pm, 2016

Ponch Hawkes: Making New Work
Thursday 3 November, 6—8pm, 2016

Walker Evans: Reading the Magazine Work
Friday 7 October 2016, 2—6pm

Echo Chamber: Emerging Research on Photography
Wednesday 31 August 2016, 6pm

Image-Makers Seminar: Katrin Koenning in conversation with Pippa Milne
Friday 10 June 2016, 4pm—5:30pm

The Social Contract: Photography, Theory, Practice and Emotions
Thursday 9 June 2016, 6—8pm

Steve Carr: On A Manual for Small Archives
Friday 1 April 2016, 5:30—7pm

Jonathan Shaw: A creative call for Photomediations
Wednesday 23 March 2016, 6—7pm

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What Makes A Great Photograph

Nine Melbourne identities make the case for a photograph that moves them.
Join CCP to reflect on the inscrutable and pertinent question: What makes a great photograph? 

As part of the 2016 Salon, CCP presents a casual and curious evening for which our sparkling panel have chosen one photograph and will explain to the crowd what makes it great…with only seven minutes each. We hope for divergent opinions and discussion from the floor!

A publisher, some creative directors, a curator, artists, an architect and a critic will reveal their passionate choices on the night!

Chaired by Naomi Cass, CCP Director.

Rachel Elliot Jones
Rachel Elliot Jones is the Creative Producer of Assemble Papers and Head of Community Engagement for Assemble. She is also the co-founder of the curatorial and publishing platform ‘Many Many’ and occasional publication 'House Wear', exploring nomadic culture across art, design, architecture and writing.

Emma Crimmings 
Emma Crimmings is the Assistant Director - Melbourne, for Art Bank Australia. She is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker and was previously Director of Gertrude Contemporary.

Doug Hall AM
Doug Hall was Director of the Queensland Art Gallery for many years, during which time he initiated the Asia Pacific Triennial, and was Australian Commissioner at the Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2011. Trained as an art historian, he is a critic, commentator, and a keen purveyor of visual culture.

Laura Lantieri
Laura Lantieri is a freelance curator and writer, with a penchant for photography. She co-curated the exhibition Lit from the Top: Sculpture through Photography at CCP in 2015. In her spare time, she is the Gallery Manager at ARC ONE Gallery, Melbourne, and a Board Member of the Georges Mora Fellowship.

Lucreccia Quintinilla
Lucreccia Quintanilla is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and sometimes DJ. She has presented work in Auckland, Chicago, New York, Berlin, Yogyakarta, Sydney and, of course, here in Melbourne.

Robert Owen
Artist, Robert Owen is represented in countless public and private collections both here and abroad, and has been commissioned to make large scale interventions alongside highways, on the exteriors of buildings and in other, unexpected places. He can also tell you stories about living in Greece alongside the likes of Leonard Cohen in the 1970s.

Tony Lee
Architect, Tony Lee is the Executive Director and founder ​of the Robin Boyd Foundation, ​which was established in 2005 to continue the work of Robin Boyd in promoting design awareness. He is currently creating a Robin Boyd archive and researching Boyd's work for a monograph that he is preparing to publish. Tony is also an avid collector of photography.

Justine Ellis
Justine Ellis is two legs of the prolific and admirable operation Perimeter Books, along with her husband Dan Rule. Perimeter Books is a specialised bookstore and platform for various art publishing endeavours in Melbourne, including in the CCP shop space!

Thursday 15 December, 6—8pm, 2016
Members free, Non-members $5
Bookings required RSVP to

Ponch Hawkes

Making New Work

Ponch Hawkes will discuss her approach to making new work and in particular making work during her recent visit to Palestine.

Ponch Hawkes is a Melbourne-based photographic artist whose work has been widely exhibited and published in Australia. A significant part of Hawkes’ output is documentary, and a commentary on Australian society and cultural life since the 1970s. In her work she considers topics such as: the body and movement; sport; circus and theatre; the environment and community; and relationships—with a feminist purpose.

She is represented in major collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; State Library of Victoria, Melbourne; and Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne as well as in regional and local galleries and private collections. Ponch Hawkes,

Thursday 3 November, 6—8pm, 2016
Members: Free
Non-members: $5
To rsvp to the event, please email Ellenie at

Walker Evans, Labor Anonymous

International Symposium

Walker Evans: Reading the Magazine Work unpacks the inventor of documentary style photography, offering three new readings of this crucial figure and a lively discussion with visiting British photography historian and curator David Campany.

Presented on the occasion of the exhibitions, Walker Evans The Magazine Work curated by David Campany and The Documentary Take curated by Naomi Cass.

Presented by Deakin Motion Lab Centre for Creative Arts Research, Deakin University and MADA, Monash University, as part of the 2016 Melbourne Festival.

Friday 7 October, 2PM-6PM
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George Street, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065
Gold coin donation, bookings essential

More information here

Echo Chamber: Emerging research on photography

Wednesday 31 August 2016, 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


Kate Robertson

Chronicling Communities: Embodiment and Feeling in Photography

Through photography, Kate Robertson explores ways of chronicling communities that have a collective social and ecological attachment to a particular environment. She is currently working with people from Siwai, Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea. She is interested in understanding how photographic forms might align to community values, in order to offer renewed ways of chronicling. To do this, she is currently exploring how photographic processes might be as perceptible and representational to the subjects being photographed.

Kate is a lecturer and PhD candidate at RMIT University. Recent exhibitions include Land Dialogues, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga (2016); The Alchemists, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney (2015); Garnkiny to Ganyu: Artists who capture the night, GYRACC, Katherine NT (2015); Galerie Pavlova, Photo London, London (2015); and Transforming Landscape, Wallflower Gallery, Mildura (2014)

Image credit: Kate Robertson SIGARATA (kang koring peu ahkarei koring / for white spots on skin, dandruff and nappy rash) 2016


Along the Path of the Sun: Photography, Empathy, and Community

Statement: Using Susan Sontag's text Regarding the Pain of Others as a point of departure, Christine McFetridge is researching the capacity of photographs, both as object and act, to evoke empathy. By using methods that emphasise parallels in lived experience between different groups, she aims to understand whether participatory photography might restore a sense of community to a specific place. Ultimately, McFetridge is working towards determining whether photography might have a role in re-humanising marginalised groups.

Christine McFetridge is a New Zealand born photographer and writer based in Melbourne. Her practice and research meet at the intersection of social documentary, storytelling, and the photobook to examine empathy and the correlation between community and belonging. McFetridge has exhibited her work locally and internationally, and this year has been the recipient of two artist residencies with Creative Gippsland and Wyndham City Council.

Image: Christine McFetridge Untitled (Columbo Street, Christchurch) 2015, Archival Inkjet Print


The archive of alone

I don't remember how I started my interest in aloneness, but last year I started to document and collect incidences for my Archive of Alone. These were images I came across or found in markets, frames from films, stories, self help and literature about aloneness, video works of dancing alone, dating profiles, solo voyages and microwave cooking for one. I hunted aloneness in all of its inflections. Yet in these works, there was something paradoxical in the manner in which one could participate. This presentation explores the various ways in which aloneness is framed in cultural and social artefacts and how audiences might engage through participation in rituals of shared aloneness.

Kim Munro is a PhD candidate in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT. Her work focuses on participation, cartography and voice in expanded field documentary. Kim has had films screened on television and at film festivals and sometimes makes work for galleries. Kim also runs Docuverse, a forum for documentary practice and teaches at RMIT and Swinburne.

Image: ©Grant Gee, still from Innocence of Memories, Hot Property Films Ltd.

Image-Makers Seminar: Katrin Koenning in conversation with Pippa Milne

CCP Declares: On the Social Contract Image

This public program is a collaboration between Photography Studies College (Melbourne) and CCP, and is presented as part of PSC's monthly Image-Makers Seminar Series.

Katrin Koenning is an image-maker of commendable talent, as evidenced by her numerous achievements. Her series The Crossing is currently showing at CCP as part of CCP Declares: On the Social Contract. It has previously shown at ACP, Sydney and is concurrently showing in the Netherlands at Museum Belvédère in Heerenveen. The intense and dark series considers our fractured relationship with the natural world, begging the question of where we stand in terms of our obligations to the environment. Images in the series slip between the surreal, the ethereal and the painfully real.

CCP Curator, Pippa Milne is the curator of CCP Declares: On the Social Contract. The exhibition is part of an occasional series of exhibitions that show artists working at the forefront of photography and video in Australia. The subtitle to this exhibition title provides a curatorial theme. Each of the works selected examines or extends the idea of social contract theory; the idea that moral and political obligations and rights are bound upon an intrinsic agreement amongst the various constituents of a society.

Join us for a conversation between curator and artist. The discussion will cover this current series and Koenning's broader practice, as well as the curatorial process that led to CCP Declares: On the Social Contract.

Koenning has won numerous awards and has shown both in Australia and abroad. Solo exhibitions include: Indefinitely, Wallflower Photomedia Gallery, Mildura, 2015; Fieber, PhotoIreland, Dublin, 2015; Dear Chris, Queensland Centre for Photography, Brisbane 2014, and Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne 2013. Group exhibitions include: the Athens Photo Festival 2015, Terra Australis at Galerie Pavlova, Berlin 2015; This is not Detroit, Musisches Zentrum, Bochum, Germany, 2014; and Australian Photography - Projections, Chobi Mela Photography Festival, Bangladesh, 2013.

Koenning is currently a lecturer at Photography Studies College, Melbourne and has been featured in a number of in print and online publications including: Momento Pro Magazine; Self Publish Be Happy; GUP Magazine; New York Times; Der Spiegel Magazine; and The Guardian, UK.

Pippa Milne is the Curator at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. She has a Master of Art Curatorship from Melbourne University and Law and Arts degrees from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. In 2015 she was the Emerging Curator for Victoria for the Venice Biennale and she has worked with the Australia Council and Creative New Zealand at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Pippa has previously held positions at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, she teaches at Photography Studies College (Melbourne) and Melbourne University and contributes regularly to publications in Australia and New Zealand.

PSC is the principal supporter of CCP Declares: On the Social Contract (27th May—10th July 2016).


Friday 10 June, 4—5:30pm
Gold coin donation, no bookings required

In collaboration with Photography Studies College (Melbourne)

Image: Katrin Koenning Rumble 2015, courtesy the artist.

The Social Contract: Photography, Theory, Practice and Emotions

CCP Declares: On the Social Contract Image

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

Short presentations and a panel discussion by Dr Spencer Jackson, Dr Joseph Browning, Dr Fran Edmonds, Associate Professor Anne Maxwell, Dr Angus Frith will explore social contract theory through the lens of photography, philosophy, law and music. To be chaired by CCP Curator, Pippa Milne.

This event is affiliated with the exhibition CCP Declares: On The Social Contract, curated by Pippa Milne. CCP Declares: On the Social Contract draws together emerging and mid-career artists working at the forefront of Australian photography and video in its expanded field. The subtitle to this second iteration of CCP Declares acknowledges that these works examine or extend the idea of social contract theory; the idea that moral and political obligations and rights are bound upon an intrinsic agreement amongst the various constituents of a society.


Dr Spencer Jackson is a Postoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. He is an American academic and long-time activist who has organised and participated in mobilisations against war, global warming, and racism for over 15 years. He is currently a campaign volunteer for Bernie Sanders as well as an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow at CHE at The University of Queensland. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA, and works on 18th century British literature and contemporary political theory. He is completing a book project titled "God Made the Novel: Religion, Empire, and Resistance in Long Eighteenth-Century British Literature."

Abstract: The History of the Social Contract Not Existing: More so than other arts, photography is a worldly practice, and, as a result, it makes mince meat of idealism. This CCP exhibition uses photography to demonstrate that the social contract has yet to exist in those Western countries that have long trumpeted its glory in the midst of their wars, sweatshops, and colonial dispossessions. It is a critique, and the question it raises is what next? The answer, I believe, is not a wholesale rejection of the idea of the social contract and the broader 18th-century European enlightenment from which it emerged. Rousseau's idea that only the general will of the people is absolute is something worth reviving; the problem, however, that Rousseau and most others ignore and that this exhibition stubbornly articulates, is how.

Dr Joseph Browning is a part-time Postdoctoral Research Fellow for The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions , based at The University of Melbourne. Joe is an ethnomusicologist specialising in ethnographic approaches to Western art music, the Japanese shakuhachi and central Javanese gamelan.

Abstract: Music's power to create social bonds and divisions has long been a central concern in ethnomusicology and related fields. More recently, attention has broadened to consider music's role in shaping human relationships with nature. In this presentation, Joe will reflect on what this scholarship on music and sound can bring to discussion around the social contract. Music is often used to actively protest social issues and is powerfully shaped by government interventions. Yet, where the social contract is often imagined in terms of overt, rational "agreement," music provides an important reminder of other ways of relating, grounded in affective responses and culturally specific attitudes.

Anne Maxwell is Associate Professor in the English and Theatre Program in the School of Culture and Communications at The University of Melbourne. In addition to publishing a large number of essays on colonial and postcolonial literature, she has published three monographs on colonial photography. Her fourth book The Complete Craze: Women's Photography and Colonial Modernity is scheduled for publication in 2017.

Abstract: How and to what extent is photography governed by and illustrative of social contract theory? Using both historical and recent examples and ranging across artistic, commercial and scientific practices, my paper will examine how photography has been variously used to both reinforce and to violate the social contract as it has been variously interpreted down through time. In addition, I will ask what is the role played by certain photographic styles and conventions in realizing the social contract and what other visual components might be in play?

Dr Fran Edmonds is a collaborative/social researcher, with an interest in the history and anthropology of southeast Australian Aboriginal culture. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and include the intersection of Western and Indigenous knowledge systems, the reclaiming of Aboriginal material culture through digital technologies and the exploration of methodological approaches to cross-cultural research.

Abstract: Through a recasting and reclamation of lived experiences, archives and everyday objects, I will discuss the ways that marginalised groups and individual artists use visual media, including photographs, to reveal new ways of seeing histories and cultures.

Dr Angus Frith is a member of Victorian bar who as practiced native title law for applicant groups since 1995, largely on matters in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland. He has worked on issues of connection and extinguishment, agreements about acts affecting native title, and structures for managing native title rights and interests. Angus has recently completed a PhD at Melbourne Law School, titled 'Getting it Right for the Future: Aboriginal Law, Australian Law and Native Title Corporations'.


Thursday 9 June 2016, 6-8pm
Gold coin donation, no booking required.

In collaboration with ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

Image: Mohini Chandra Untitled from Kikau Street 2015-16, courtesy the artist.

Steve Carr: On A Manual for Small Archives
A CCP and ACMI Members exclusive event

Steve Carr

Join New Zealand-based artist Steve Carr for an immersive evening of discussion as he muses on the cinematic moments and delicate transformative objects found in his exhibition, A Manual for Small Archives at Centre for Contemporary Photography.

From golf balls through to smoke, bubbles and cacti, Carr slows down time; like an array of experiments, these works resist individual classification as they interact with each other and the viewer to reveal new narratives. Carr provides an opportunity for the audience to decode this archive, drawing from their experiences and understandings to create new connections and meaning.

We welcome you to Centre for Contemporary Photography for an exclusive viewing of A Manual for Small Archives, followed by an engaging presentation by the artist himself.


Represented in New Zealand by Michael Lett, Auckland and in Australia by STATION, Melbourne, New Zealand-based artist Steve Carr has had work in many major New Zealand and international exhibitions. Recent exhibitions include Bullet Time, Wellington City Gallery, with Daniel Crooks (2016), The Science of Ecstasy and Immortality, Michael Lett, Auckland (2015), Stretching Time, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2014), Majo, Outer Space, Christchurch City Art Gallery (2013) and Smoke Films, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012). He has been a Lecturer in Fine Arts and Photography at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, Auckland, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Canterbury, School of Fine Arts, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Friday 1 April 2016

Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George Street
Fitzroy, 3065

Refreshments included.
Bookings essential. Email your name, email address and membership number to to confirm your place.

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Presented in partnership with ACMI

Image: Steve Carr Smoke Bubble #1 2015-16
inkjet print, 120 x 120 cm
edition of 3
courtesy the artist, Michael Lett, Auckland and STATION, Melbourne

Jonathan Shaw
A creative call for Photomediations

Wednesday 23 March 2016, 6—7pm
Gold coin donation, no bookings required

Roland Barthes

It is perhaps not too much of an overstatement to describe photography as a quintessential practice of life. Indeed, over the last few decades photography has become so ubiquitous that our very sense of existence is shaped by it.

The photography of old, used to be something that others – professionals equipped with large machines that allowed them to capture a better image of the world out there, advertisers trying to sell us chunks of that world, photojournalists dispatched to the world’s remote corners that few of us could regularly access – did, in the age of the camera phone and wireless communication, surely we are all photographers now? Yet we are all not just photographers today: we have also become distributors, archivists and curators of the ‘image’. Victor Burgin aptly points out today’s hyper-connected reality, ‘…in effect turning every photograph on the Web into a potential frame in a boundless film’.

The creative call for Photomediations: An Open Book is an attempt to creatively respond to the inadequacy of the rigid formulations and categories through which photography has been perceived and approached, embracing the idea that it is time to radically transform, rather than just expand, the very notion of photography. 

Jonathan Shaw is a photographer and educator based in the UK. 

He is the Director of the Disruptive Media Learning Lab, Coventry University, UK, Chair of the Association for Photography in Higher Education, visiting fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University and Adobe Education Leader. He was awarded a Direct Fellowship of Royal Photographic Society (RPS), and a Fellowship of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), in recognition for his achievements in Photography and innovative educational practices. In 2014 he became a member of the Board of Directors at Birmingham Open Media (BOM), Birmingham and a Trustee of The Photographers’ Gallery, London.

Jonathan is in Melbourne courtesy of Photography Studies College, where he is completing a research sabbatical.

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