In 2015 the ACP moved from a seasonal exhibition schedule (spring, winter etc) back to shorter durations. The third installment of the year ran from mid-June to mid-August, with two solo exhibitions, a group exhibition, and some video works in the gallery and on the street screen. During this time there was also a workshop and paste-up on the building facade by the dysturb group.

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Ex & Post was a group exhibition of contemporary photography from Eastern Europe, curated by Sári Stenczer and coordinated by Krisztina Erdei (Photolumen, Budapest) in collaboration with ACP.

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On the other side of the black curtain was a gallery showing a projection of the video “Blaktism” by Megan Cope.

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The front gallery had “The Outside Land” – an exhibition of photographs made in New Guinea by Stephen Dupont. He also gave an artist’s talk one weekend.

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Franky Tsang showed photos from “The Umbrella Movement” as part of the Emerging Artist Program.

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Photo above is looking from Oxford St towards front of house and through to the rear gallery space where Ex & Post was installed.The photo below looks at front of house and towards Oxford St. It also shows the video on the monitor that was connected with the Street Screen program. The Street Screen was a white screen on one of the front gallery windows that ran curated projections all night.

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There were two Street Screen projections during this period – Cyrus Tang, shown above, and Merilyn Fairskye, below.

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Shown above and below is the paste-up done by #dysturb, who also pasted up posters in other parts of Sydney at this time. They also ran a workshop at ACP covering their ideas and rationale.

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Some recent documentation of an exhibition by the great photojournalist David Burnett at the ACP exhibition space at Taylor Square. He has photographed every USA President from JFK to Obama. Many of his photos are textbook examples of creative framing and exposure. The exhibition is at 118 Oxford St, Darlinghurst from 19 October to 12 November 2016. Full details at ACP website. All my documentation photos were made with a Canon 6D and 16-35 and 28-70 Canon lenses. I take all the photos with the picture style set to monochrome as I find that seeing the photo in black and white helps me to control the exposure and tonality without the distraction of colour. Because these are raw files I can work with them as colour photos on the computer.

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Photobooks at ACP Gallery

October 6, 2016

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The Australian Centre for Photography (ACP) is running an exhibition curated by Daniel Boetker-Smith, the director of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive. The show is on until 15th October at 118 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, Sydney. There are 40 books from the Archive that can be looked through by visitors, as well as an exhibition of the project Thai Politics no.3 by photographer Miti Ruangkritya. I interviewed Daniel for the ACP and you can read it at the ACP website. We talked about the Archive, photobooks in general, as well as the Asia-Pacific region. The APPA is a great idea, well run, and is sure to be of increasing significance as the collection grows and as the region changes. There are some amazing books on display – as Daniel said, it amounts to 40 bodies of work, something impossible for a gallery to display in traditional exhibition format.

Below is a view of the space, showing Thai Politics no.3, which is photographs of defaced election posters from Bangkok in 2011.

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My documentation of the 2014 spring season exhibitions at ACP – Australian Centre for Photography. There were three exhibitions on simultaneously – Poppy – Trails of Afghan Heroin by Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong, Bedrooms of the Fallen by Ashley Gilbertson and Between Darkness and Light by Jodi Bieber. At night the street screen projection on the front window was After the Apology by Alethia Casey.

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Photo 3 shows the view from the gallery with Ashley Gilbertson photos looking towards front of house and the entrance to the galleries where Poppy was displayed. There is also a wall monitor showing After the Apology by Alethia Casey. Photo 4 shows the view from front of house looking into the Poppy gallery. I was commissioned to take these photos by the ACP and would always bear in mind the briefing I was given by curator Tony Nolan – the documentation photos should show the context of the works and how the various spaces related to each other, such that someone looking in years to come could piece together the overall layout from looking at the photos.

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Poppy was a four channel video projection in the first gallery with an accompanying book displayed in a second gallery along with a map and text panel giving the history of the trail of Afghan heroin around the world.

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Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong were in Sydney for the first week or so of the exhibition and gave a couple of public talks about the work. In one form or another they have been covering this story for decades.

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Photo 9 is similar to photo 3, except it shows the didactic panel for Ashley Gilbertson. Photo 10 is a detail of the work – wide views of the bedrooms of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the ACP I would document every wall from multiple angles as well as many detail photos. These are kept for the centre archives and also supplied to the artists. I’m only showing a small selection here to give an idea of what the season looked like.

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Jodi Bieber exhibition, looking in the direction of the Ashley Gilbertson works.

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Jodi Bieber exhibition looking in the other direction. This gallery had large windows fronting onto Oxford St, Paddington, so the lighting can be a mix of daylight and incandescent in the daytime. Sometimes I would photograph at night for even colour temperature, however there would then be no people to add context.

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Jodi Bieber detail showing window and street view. The white patch on the window was used for the night street screen projections.

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Alethia Casey street screen projection at night.

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October 2014 was also the month when the then director and board decided to sell the building at 257 Oxford St that the ACP had occupied for 30 years.

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I also documented some aspects of the uninstall.

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For the spring 2013 season at the Australian Centre for Photography (ACP), I documented exhibitions by Rowan Conroy, Emmanuel Angelicas and Robert Besanko.

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Rowan Conroy – The Woodhouse Rephotography Project.

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Large vinyl print for Rowan Conroy exhibition.

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A new photograph each month for Robert Besanko.

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Emmanuel Angelicas ‘Buka’

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The Australian Centre for Photography 2013 winter season ran from June until August, with exhibitions by Pat Brassington, David Burnett and the continuing project from Robert Besanko. It was also when I started using a Canon 6D, a great camera that I still use in late 2015. Initially I couldn’t open the raw files with my CS5 software so was doing some inconvenient things like converting the Canon raw files to Adobe dng files. It worked OK but meant duplicating large files, so it wasn’t long before I got CS6 which I’m also still using. I’m not planning to change my camera, computer or software until absolutely necessary as I dislike the complexity of needing everything to be of a certain newness for the various components to work together.

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At this time the ACP had a gallery wall that faced the street so they could try ideas such as this large format vinyl print. They would also leave the lights on all night so after hours pedestrians could view the work. This photo is from the David Burnett exhibition “The Presidents: from JFK to Obama”. David Burnett is one of the great photojournalists and is also a friendly and genial character. It was a thrill to meet him as I had many times showed his “What’s in the bag” video to students. I had him autograph one of my Holgas while he was in Sydney.

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Gallery view of David Burnett “The Presidents”. He photographed JFK when he was still a schoolboy, and the subsequent Presidents as a photojournalist.

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In the back galleries was a thoughtfully curated and beautifully presented retrospective of Pat Brassington, titled “A Rebours”.

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Large Pat Brassington prints in the entry hall.

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Pat Brassington to the left and Robert Besanko and David Burnett to the right.

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This is an original lith print by Robert Besanko, I’m pretty sure he was using Kodalith paper.

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Another Besanko, this is a contemporary large print from one of the vintage lith prints.

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There were four artists exhibiting during the autumn 2013 season however I was only commissioned to document two of them. “Felicia” by Ian North was the first complete presentation of a project this significant Australian photographer did in the mid 1970s. “Contemplations” by Robert Besanko was a project than ran for one year on a monthly cycle. Each month he would show a vintage lith print along with a newly printed large scale inkjet version of the same image.

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Robert Besanko “Contemplations”

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Ian North “Felicia”

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