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April 28, 2022

PHOTO 2022: The International Festival of Photography Returns to Melbourne

Kathryn Shanks
PHOTO 2022: The International Festival of Photography Returns to Melbourne
Between April 29 and May 22, Melburnians can visit a wide array of photography exhibitions across the city that address the theme ‘Being Human’.

Honouring 123 local and international artists and photographers across 90 exhibitions, Australia’s largest photography biennale is back in Melbourne as April comes to a close, celebrating the grand ideas and everyday elements of Being Human. With exhibits across the city itself as well as in regional galleries, PHOTO 2022 is the perfect opportunity for Victorians (and interstate visitors!) to immerse themselves in the world of photography.

This festival’s theme, Being Human, allows artists to explore the human condition through the lenses of society, self, mortality, nature, and history. From First Nations stories and an Ecuadorian tribe fighting to save the rainforest to Chinese youth culture and an exploration of deepfakes, life experiences from all over the globe are on show from an array of international artists. Exclusive Australian exhibitions include artists such as Gillian Wearing (UK), Paul Mpagi Sepuya (US), and Mohamed Bourouissa (DZ/FR), while new commissions by Australian artists, established and emerging, include Atong Atem, Naomi Hobson, and Ying Ang, among many others.

From contemporary artists to street photographers, PHOTO 2022 is an opportunity for people to be inspired by photography as an art form and to question the role it plays in our everyday lives.
MARK HENRY, CHAIR OF PHOTO AUSTRALIA.

Designed as ‘a festival of exploration’, PHOTO 2022 is organised into five Festival Precincts: Town Hall Precinct, Parliament Precinct, River Precinct, State Library Precinct, and Fitzroy/Collingwood. From the NGV and ACMI to the Old Melbourne Gaol and Parliament Gardens, displays are there to be discovered all across the city; in particular, you can find a celebration of the renowned American artist Cindy Sherman installed on the façade of a building at Federation Square. The festival also features another legendary photographer, Helmut Newton, whose exhibition will detail the extraordinary life of the fashion photographer as presented by the Jewish Museum of Australia: Gandel Centre of Judaica and the Helmut Newton Foundation.

Whether you’re here for the greats or ready to discover a new favourite, PHOTO 2022 is well worth your attention – especially considering nearly everything is free! Only the Helmut Newton exhibition and the Precinct, Cycle, and Collector Tours will cost you anything, making the festival the best autumn outing you could find. The biennale closes on May 22, so be sure to make plans before then!

If you liked this article, you might like our feature about the Venice Biennale’s 59th Art Exhibition, which is on now!

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