Inaugural PHOTO 2021 festival kicks off in Melbourne this week
The inaugural PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography launches in Melbourne today, just as the city comes out of a five-day lockdown.
Running until March 7, the program for the PHOTO 2021 Festival is packed with scores of free events set to take place in Melbourne and regional Victoria over the coming weeks.
All tied to the Festival's overarching theme ,‘The Truth’, the PHOTO 2021 program features a number of free exhibitions, artist talks, walking tours, outdoor displays, workshops and other activities involving Australian and international photographers, curators and professionals.
The program also boasts a number of online events, making the Festival accessible to an international audience.
PHOTO 2021 festival’s rich offering of photography-related events and activities are aimed at reinvigorating the arts-and-culture scene in Melbourne, which had suffered a long period of dormancy due to the extended months of lockdown in 2020.
For the opening weekend of the festival, galleries in Melbourne will be open late on Friday 19 February. Some of the galleries taking part in the late-night program include the Anna Schwartz Gallery, ARC ONE and Tolarno Galleries.
Walking tours led by artists and curators will also kick off on launch weekend as part of the Festival's outdoor program.
PHOTO LIVE, which also launches on PHOTO 2021’s opening weekend, is a series of casual conversations about the role of photography in contemporary life. The PHOTO LIVE events will take place at at MPavilion at Parkade but the talks will also be live-streamed for audiences to enjoy virtually.
Some of the artists who are set to feature in the PHOTO LIVE talks are also unveiling new photographic projects that will be on display throughout Melbourne during the Festival. For example, artist Eliza Hutchinson is scheduled to talk about her experience creating a new artwork about the Parliament of Victoria, as well as the relationship between democracy and the media.
Divided into six sessions, PHOTO IDEAS will be a virtually-delivered seminar series on the intersection between photography, truth and power.
The speakers for PHOTO IDEAS will include international and local photographers and artists, academics and curators, such as Maree Clarke (Australia) Hoda Afshar (Australia/ Iran), Danial Shea (USA) and Max Pinkers (Belgium).
The talks, which have been put together in partnership with RMIT School of Art and Monash Gallery of Art, will analyse and comment on the relationship between photography and a number of themes and ideas, including context, control, witness, doubt and sovereignty.
Moreover, related to the Festival’s overarching theme of ‘The Truth’, the speakers are also set to engage in discussions about how new methods of making, sharing and viewing images is affecting global and individual perceptions of reality.
The weekend of 27-28 February has been designated in the Festival program as a weekend to celebrate the art and role of photobooks in contemporary photographic practice.
The events of the Photobook Weekend will be hosted by the Centre for Contemporary Photography and Le Space, with support from Momento Pro and the Goethe Institut.
The program for Photobook Weekend is set to include a number of photobook-focused events, including book launches, panel discussions and artists talks, as well as exhibitions that feature the works of finalists from the Australian & New Zealand Photobook Award and the Kassel Dummy Award.
To find out more about how you can attend or get involved with the PHOTO 2021 Festival, you can find all the details on the festival website here.