Arts / Culture

About Looking: A guide to Australian photography exhibition PHOTO 2024

PHOTO 2024

John Berger once wrote "perspective is not a science but a hope". In this way photography becomes a practice more revealing of desire than if one flipped through a diary. Which is why stepping into PHOTO 2024 is an educational experience. The exhibition, staged across seven Festival Precincts in Melbourne and five cities in regional Victoria, features over 150 photographers from Australia and overseas, inviting you to encounter myriad ways of seeing and feeling from March 1 to 24.

In this year's program PHOTO 2024 will spotlight the work of three photography giants. Namely, Australia's Rennie Ellis, Nan Goldin, and Malian artist Malick Sidibé. Their archives speak to the accompanying theme, 'The Future Is Shaped By Those Who Can See It'.

Also included in the 2024 program, is a series of works from artists like Ryan McGinley, who will exhibit his Yearbook project at Shepparton Art Museum; Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens, who presents a series of self portraits at Werribee Park Mansion; Kokatha and Nukunu artist Yhonnie Scarce who will exhibit at This Is No Fantasy in Fitzroy; Tony Albert with his Ashtray series at Sullivan + Strumpf; Carmen Winant with powerful imagery around abortion in the US; and Anne Zahalka at ARC One Gallery, to name a handful.

The inaugural PHOTO International Festival of Photography was scheduled for 2020, however was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic. It returned in 2022 under the theme 'Being Human' and including artworks from Cindy Sherman, Helmut Newton, Atong Atem, Christian Thompson, and others.

Returning to its biennial format, the exhibition arrives in March 2024 to celebrate photographic excellence both across Australia and abroad. Audiences can experience it at a plethora of venues, including institutions like such as ACMI, RMIT Gallery, Footscray Community Arts, Readings State Library, Castlemaine Art Museum and Latrobe Regional Gallery. For a full list of galleries, head here to plan your visit.

If you're interested in attending PHOTO 2024, explore the exhibition's rich program at its website.

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Image: @photofestivalau