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CCP’s Winter Program ‘rethinks the human experience’

Melbourne’s Centre for Contemporary Photography has announced its June Winter Program, with five exhibitions from local artists which invite viewers to ‘rethink the human experience’.

The Winter Program, open from June 15 – August 11, consists of three photography shows, a video installation and embroidery piece, and outdoor glowing neon art. An opening reception will be held at CCP on Friday June 14, 6-8PM.

Vantages by Melbourne photographer, Shea Kirk, will show at CCP’s Gallery One.

Shea Kirk, Christiane D’Arc(left and right view), 2018. Courtesy the artist.

Vantages is an ongoing series of stereoscopic portraits by Melbourne-based artist Shea Kirk. Working with dual large-format cameras to simultaneously capture two images from different perspectives, Kirk invites subjects to be photographed in his humble home-studio. Each portrait is exposed onto black and white sheet film through a slow and methodical process, enabling an intimate exchange that highlights the agency between photographer and subject. When viewed through a stereoscope, these dual-portraits can be seen three-dimensionally, rendering the subject hauntingly statuesque.

Often in states of undress and portrayed standing or sitting in front of simple backdrops, the subjects in Vantages stare at us with a disarming self-awareness, perhaps only possible in the selfie-obsessed, smart-phone age. Subjects present as though conscious of their own vulnerabilities—they are aware of what it means to represent themselves—and through the very nature of this dual imaging process, they resist being reduced to a single vantage point.

Gallery Two will show Worry For The Fruit The Bird Won’t Eat by Melbourne-based PSC graduate, Sophie Gabrielle.

Sophie Gabrielle, Worry For The Fruit The Birds Won’t Eat, 2017–19.

Gabrielle’s series is a deeply personal exploration of her experience with cancer. She combines portraits and images of medicinal plants, alongside obscure archival images from 1930s-40s medical research catalogues showing MRI scans, science experiments and brain synaptic structures.

The images aim to explore the fragility of the human body, psyche and experience.

Worry For The Fruit The Birds Won’t Eat is an exploration drawn from my experiences with cancer through optics and chemical interactions, and an investigative process to photograph that which is generally invisible to the naked eye,’ says Gabrielle. ‘This project started as a coping mechanism to address the impact cancer has had on my life over the past few years, after all the men in my family were diagnosed with stage four cancer. These works give a sense of the unsettled, fragile, daunting and overwhelming aspects that have culminated during this time in my life.’

Why Take Pictures? – a group exhibition featuring work by Alan Constable, Michelle Tran, Lyndal Irons, Glenn Sloggett, and David Wadelton – will take over Gallery Three.

Lyndal Irons, 3 friends from Mermaid Beach club are about to compete in the 21-22 year section at the qualifying heats, hoping to make the OperaHouse, from the series Physie, 2018. Courtesy the artist.

Curated by CCP’s Madé Spencer-Castle, ‘Why Take Pictures?‘ aims to address a fundamental question that most photographers ask themselves at one point in time.

‘We all take pictures, leaving every one of us with an extensive collection of images, historically as physical artefacts, but now stored within our digital devices. These collections become vessels of information and nostalgia, desire and curiosity. Why Takes Pictures? interrogates how and why we build up these storehouses of images, as considered through the lens of five exceptional artists.

Traversing documentary, commercial, political and highly personal modes, Why Take Pictures? presents a broad cross-section of different approaches to making photographs. Whether documenting social environments in states of change, examining the discarded or overlooked, prying at the strange behaviour of humans; or through examining the obsession with the camera itself, the artists in Why Take Pictures? are driven to continue to take photographs, like an itch that can’t be scratched.

Gallery Four will house a collaborative exhibition, A Treasured Private Notebook, by Melbournians Ella Sowinska and Thea Jones.

The exhibition consists of two works developed closely with the artists’ mothers: Sowinska’s video installation, 80 Ways; and Jones’ large-scale textile and embroidery artwork, Jane’s Salvation.

80 Ways is a film which dramatises a chapter of Sowinska’s mother’s erotic novel written under the pseudonym Sandy Mayflower. The work attempts to reveal ‘idiosyncrasies between mother and daughter, through the psychologically-charged subject of sexual intimacy, often considered too transgressive to discuss in parent-child relationships’.

Jane’s Salvation is a response to an essay written by Jones’ mother. The work is a hand embroided exert from her mother’s essay presented on swathes of fabric.

Lastly, Lose by Glenn Sloggett will be on display 24/7 on the gallery’s street-facing Night Projection Window.

‘Sloggett’s work flashes intermittently between CLOSED and LOSE, suggesting that CCP itself is dilapidated and closed for business. Playing wryly on the visual language of advertising, Lose employs dark humour to transform the exterior of CCP into a symbol of broken capitalism and unsatiated desires.’

Artists talks will run on Saturday, June 24 from 12:30-2pm, with Shea Kirk, Sophie Gabrielle, Glenn Sloggett, Michelle Tran, David Wadelton, Thea Jones and Ella Sowinska Saturday, June 24, 12:30-2pm

Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 Gore Street, Fitzroy

Click here for more info.

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