PHOTO 2022: Being Human

In celebration of new photography, art and ideas, PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography returns to the streets and galleries of Melbourne and regional Victoria from 29 April to 22 May. The biennial event will feature 123 local and international artists and photographers across ninety exhibitions, with fifty world premieres; including twenty-four specially commissioned projects by Atong Atem, Naomi Hobson, Dean Cross, Ying Ang, Hannah Brontë, Scotty So, Madeline Bishop, Anu Kumar and Patrick Pound, to name a few, and an icon series with fashion photographer Helmut Newton and artist Cindy Sherman.

Helmut Newton, Elsa Peretti, New York, 1975. © Helmut Newton Estate. Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation, Germany

A festival of exploration, PHOTO 2022 unfurls across five main areas: Town Hall Precinct, Parliament Precinct, River Precinct, State Library Precinct, and Fitzroy/Collingwood; featuring large-scale outdoor installations at iconic and unexpected sites across Melbourne from Parliament House to the former courtyard of the Old Melbourne Gaol; expertly curated exhibitions at thirty-eight galleries, including the Australian Centre For the Moving Image and NGV Australia; thought-provoking events, and education programs such as workshops for street photography and DIY photobooks; and a study of technology and human algorithms (what will it be like when the internet scrolls us? It’s going to blow Siri’s mind); plus, a series of curator and artist talks, precinct, cycle and collector tours, and digital offerings: virtual tours and Instagram livestreaming.

By focusing on the issues most important to our times, the festival connects the arts with different elements of our lives across science, psychology, sociology, technology, current affairs, and many others. Through PHOTO 2022’s theme: ‘Being Human’, artists and photographers will unpack the human condition to explore what informs who we are: what unites us and what makes us unique within the narratives of Society, Self, Mortality, Nature and History. From an Ecuadorian tribe fighting to save the rainforest to Chinese youth culture, fragility, love and self-expression, and deepfakes to First Nations stories, the diversity and richness of contemporary human life is on display.

Ross McDonnell, from the series ‘LOST BOYS’, 2012. Courtesy the artist

Multidisciplinary artist So challenges the notion of aesthetic appropriation within Asian cultures, and, in a series of surreal images, Honey Long & Prue Stent place the human body within earth and water.

Other highlights include large-scale lightboxes along Southbank Promenade; and a photography and sound installation by Bidjara artist Christian Thompson in the former courtyard of the Old Melbourne Gaol; Jenny Lewis’ epic documentation of a community from the ages of 0 to 100 are on view across more than 100 metres of Metro Tunnel construction hoarding; and the first exhibition of Hoda Afshar’s critically-acclaimed project Speak the wind at Monash Gallery of Art explores the power and myth of the wind in the Strait of Hormuz, off the coast of Iran. There are exhibitions by local and international queer photographers at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Parliament Gardens and Prahran Square; as well as the world premiere of Ross McDonnell’s project made in collaboration with the ‘Lost Boys of Afghanistan’; portraits of Kulin Nation Elders by James Henry are displayed on the steps of Old Treasury Building; and PHOTO 2022’s New Photographers, presents a showcase of emerging talent.

Visit the PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography website for a complete list of programs and events.

HELP DESK: | PH: +612 8227 6486