Points of view: Australian photography 1985-95
Art Gallery of New South Wales
19 November 2005 - 29 January 2006
Points of view explores developments in Australian photography from 1985 to 1995. This was a decade that saw a maturing of the diverse photographic practices which had developed in Australia from the 1970s. The works from this time exhibit a rapid incorporation of contemporary ideas and changes in photographic technique: various forms of colour photography became more accessible and economic; technical sophistication and diversity became more evident as many artists moved to working with laboratories or with printeries to achieve specific effects; or simply, artists became considerably more accomplished in their own darkrooms.
This was also a time when Aboriginal artists (such as Michael Riley, Brenda Croft and Destiny Deacon) were recognised as photographers and artists in their own right rather than as part of what the mainstream considered to be a marginalised social group. In parallel, artists of non-Anglo Saxon descent ceased to be corralled as "multicultural".
Points of view presents the work of 20 artists, including William Yang, Sandy Edwards, Anne Ferran, Ingeborg Tyssen, Destiny Deacon, David Stephenson, Robyn Stacey, Anne Zahalka, Farrell & Parkin, Pat Brassington and Rosemary Laing.
The exhibition covers a number of issues, for example, the ongoing concern with matters of representation regardless of who or what the subject might be; the life of objects within the photographic frame and how the subject operates as a memory trigger or imaginative springboard; and the dynamic relationship between the still and moving image through narrative, series and scale. Points of view follows on from the highly successful 1999 exhibition What is this thing called photography? Australian photography 1975-85, which set the scene for an understanding of the refocusing and diversity of experimentation in photographic practice of 20-30 years ago.
Judy Annear, curator of the exhibition and senior curator photography at the Art Gallery of New South Wales says: "While some commentators in the Australian photography scene saw that photography as we had come to understand it to be could be exhausted as a medium by the mid 1990s, artists in Points of view showed no sign of this exhaustion as they continued to explore and refine their ideas and practice."
Points of view: Australian Photography 1985 - 95