Christine GODDEN<br/>
<em>Joanie at the kitchen table</em> 1973; 1986 {printed} <!-- (whole sheet) --><br />

gelatin silver photograph<br />
20.1 x 30.6 cm (image) 25.4 x 34.9 cm (sheet)<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased from Admission Funds, 1991<br />
PH106-1991<br />
© Christine Godden
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Christine GODDEN
Joanie at the kitchen table 1973; 1986 {printed}
Media Release • 18 Aug 09

Long Distance Vision: Three Australian Photographers

The National Gallery of Victoria will celebrate the work of Christine Godden, Max Pam and Matthew Sleeth in a new exhibition, Long Distance Vision: Three Australian Photographers opening 28 August.

Long Distance Vision will include over 60 photographs from the NGV Collection exploring the concept of the ‘tourist gaze’ and its relationship with the three artists.

Susan van Wyk, Curator Photography, NGV said the exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the unusual perspective brought by the three photographers to their varied world travel destinations.

“There’s a sense in the works in the exhibition that the photographers are not from the places they choose to photograph, and that each is a visitor delighting in the scenes they encounter.

“What is notable about the photographs in Long Distance Vision is that rather than focussing on the well known scenes that each artist encountered, they have turned their attention to the ‘little things’, the details of the everyday,” said Ms van Wyk.

From the nineteenth century, photography has been a means by which people could discover the world, initially through personal collection and albums, and later via postcards, magazines, books and the internet.

Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said that both contemporary photographers and tourists use the camera as a means to explore and capture the world.

“Through their photographs, the three artists featured in Long Distance Vision show us highly individual ways of seeing the world. This exhibition will surprise and delight visitors as our attention is drawn to not only what is different but what remains the same as we travel the world,” said Dr Vaughan.

Born in Melbourne in 1949, Max Pam began his career in various commercial photography studios in the 1960s. After responding to a university notice for assistance to drive a Volkswagen from Calcutta to London in 1969, Pam got his first taste of being a traveller. The body of Pam’s work in this exhibition is from the series The Himalayas, which was photographed over a number of early visits to India.

Christine Godden also travelled the popular overland route between Europe and India in the early 1970s, returning to Sydney in 1978. In 1972, after a period of travelling, Godden found her home in the US where she remained for six years. Godden’s photographs in this exhibition were taken between 1972 and 1974 during her stay in the US.

Born in Melbourne in 1972, Matthew Sleeth is another seasoned traveller. During the late 1990s, Sleeth settled in Opfikon, an outer suburb of Zurich, Switzerland. The series of photographs in Long Distance Vision were taken during this time, showing Sleeth’s interest not only in street photography, but also in the narrative possibilities in everyday scenes. Dotted with garishly coloured playhouses, naive sculptures and whimsical arrangements of garden gnomes Sleeth’s photographs go beyond the ‘picture-perfect’ scenes of typical tourist photography.

Long Distance Vision: Three Australian Photographers is on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square from 28 August 2009 to 21 February 2010. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia is open 10am–5pm, closed Mondays. Entry to this exhibition is free.

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Image caption:
Christine Godden
born Australia 1947
Joanie at the kitchen table 1973, printed 1986
gelatin silver photograph
20.1 x 30.6 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased from Admission Funds, 1991
© Christine Godden