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4 Photography Exhibitions to See in Melbourne Now

cover image: red nails, narelle autio (2006).

words by niall roeder

Melbourne’s art scene is a revolving door of local and international canvas, paint and print. The city is a halfway house, with exhibits of every shape and size breezing in and out of gallery doors like the wind. In a tech-savvy world where iPhone selfies reign supreme and it seems to be getting easier to take a good snap, we look at four photography exhibitions that pull focus back onto the art.

Life Aquatic
Water is everywhere and the importance of the liquid is undeniable. This is something we all know and something that Narelle Autio, Ruth Maddison and Catherine Nelson have created upon. Life Aquatic is a contemporary photography exhibition that dunks the viewer into a submarine world, where life forms float, sink or swim in wet space.

Life Aquatic is showing at Monash Gallery of Art Dec 9 – Feb 26.

Excessive 80’s!
The decade that brought us double denim, Bob Hawke, the movie Labyrinth and Garbage Pail Kids, is looked back on fondly… but not in the same way the 70’s and 90’s are. We love taking the Mickey out of the 80’s.

Excessive 80’s! is the follow up to Magnet Galleries’ hugely successful, Livin in the 70’s exhibition last year. The exhibition showcases the streets, places, people and events of Melbourne in the 1980’s as shot by some of the great photographers of the day.

Excessive 80’s! is showing at Magnet Galleries Melbourne Jan 8 – Jan 28.

The Process of Feeling
Atong Atem is a South Sudanese artist and writer living in Melbourne. In The Process of Feeling, Atong explores colonial history, as well as her own history and culture, and attempts to make peace with her self-discovery.

The Process of Feeling is at the Centre for Contemporary Photography Dec 9 – Feb 26.

Political Acts
The needle on the world’s political turbulence metre always seems to be sitting in the red for some reason or another. Around the world, at any given time there is a need to critically explore social, political and environmental issues. Political Acts is a selection of films, photographs and installations by a group of avant-garde performance artists from Southeast Asia, that explores exactly that. Artists represented include Dadang Christanto (Indonesia/Australia), Lee Wen (Singapore), Liew Teck Leong (Malaysia), Khvay Samnang (Cambodia), Moe Satt (Myanmar), Melati Suryodarmo (Indonesia) and Tran Luong (Vietnam).

Political Acts is at the Arts Centre Melbourne Feb 11 – May 5.

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