Good Looking
Narrative Photographs Past & Present
Frank HURLEY
Rescued (1916)
gelatin silver photograph
13.9 x 20.0 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1977
PH102-1977

The idea of 'good looking' is one way of seeing that encapsulates the fact that photographs are not simply a mirror to the world but one of the most complex and, at times, problematic forms of visual representation. The exhibition Good Looking: Narrative Photographs Past and Present brings together images from the National Gallery of Victoria's permanent collection that invite us to project fictions. Some of these photographic stories have a plot or a cast of characters. Others use serial images or create a highly suggestive scenario as a way to structure information; although it may only be implied, we instinctively insert narrative into these photographs.

Through the inclusion of seemingly incidental or unforeseen visual information, these photographs seduce us into looking longer and more thoroughly. In this respect, the role of interpretation (to see how something is what it is) becomes an act open to us in excess of what may be intended by the artist.

Good Looking: Narrative Photographs Past and Present features works by artists Edwin Adamson, Jane Burton, Virginia Coventry, Frank Hurley, Martyn Jolly, J.W. Lindt, Fred Kruger,Tracey Moffatt, Ian North, Kenneth Pleban and Robert Rooney.


02 Mar 200416 May 2004 The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square