Sophie Leuschke: (From left:) Ron Brownson, Jane Ussher, Stephen Braunias, Emily Perkins,

Sophie Leuschke: (From left:) Ron Brownson, Jane Ussher, Stephen Braunias, Emily Perkins, Patrick Reynolds and Nicola Legat, discussion panel for “Does a Picture Say a Thousand Words?” at the Auckland Art Gallery's Art Lounge, 1pm Sunday 21st June 2009

As part of their Talking Culture series Auckland Art Gallery held a panel discussion “Does a Picture Say a Thousand Words?” at their art lounge from 1-2pm on Sunday 21 June 2009. Where the panel of creative’s including writers Stephen Braunias and Emily Perkins, curator Ron Brownson, photographers Patrick Reynolds and Jane Ussher and publisher Nicola Legat responded to this overused phrase, each drawing on their different experiences and view points to create an interesting discussion. With lots of humour and collegial banter it was a relaxed inclusive discussion where the personality of the speakers shone through keeping the audience hooked until the last word. It was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon and end this years Auckland Festival of Photography.

Key points made by the panellists and commentators included: 

Photography is a completely different medium with its own language, so there isn’t any point trying to make it into something else, such as writing.

Photography is about seducing, not about illustrating.

With photography you see a lot of different things at the same time in one image.

With reading you can only see one thing at a time second by second and the image is created as you read layer by layer.

Photography doesn’t explain anything. It is about solving a photographic problem.

One has to learn to rely on courageous photographers (for significant photographs).

Art is not about inspiration, but should be about perspiration.

Photographs are happy accidents.

When photographs are very bad they become good.

Sometimes a photograph is worth a 1000 expletives.

Are 1000 words the same as an image?

Photographs are memories, and questions.

—Sophie Leuschke

 

John B. Turner: Isabel Crombie discussing a Bill Henson photograph at the Auckland Art Gallery's Art Lounge, Lorne Street, Auckland CBD, 14 June 2009

John B. Turner: Dr Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, discussed a photograph by Bill Henson at the Auckland Art Gallery's Art Lounge, Lorne Street, Auckland CBD, 14 June 2009

Dr Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and one of Australia’s foremost historians of photography, gave a lecture on contemporary trends in Australian Photography, to an appreciative audience of over 80 at the Auckland Art Gallery’s Art Lounge, Lorne Street, Auckland CBD, on 14 June 2009.
Billed as a keynote speaker for the Auckland Festival of Photography 2009, she spoke eloquently about work she has an intimate aquaintance and affection for. Her talk, which elaborated on the photography as fabrication and construction, and photography as documentation debate, noted at one point that documentary photography is on the rise in Australia again. She also stated that the power of photography is more enduring than many [art] critics realise. She kindly offered to show interested visitors to Melbourne around the National Gallery of Victoria’s photography collection.
Dr Crombie’s stimulating talk, which PhotoForum hopes to be able to publish in a separate item, begged many questions about the photography scene in Australia, but, unfortunately, little time was available for elaboration, or for informal discussion with her after this important event, which deserved a bigger time slot in the Festival, and additional opportuites for her to share her insights and opinions. Nor was there time to discuss Australian trends in relation to what is going on in New Zealand photography. PhotoForum hopes to be able to publish notes of her talk in the near future, to stimulate further discussion. JBT
John B. Turner: Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, discussed a photograph by Julie Rrap at the Art Lounge, Lorne Street, Auckland CBD, on 14 June 2009
John B. Turner: Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, discussed a photograph by Julie Rrap at the Art Lounge, Lorne Street, Auckland CBD, on 14 June 2009
John B. Turner: Dr Isobel Crombie delivering her lecture on trends in contemporary Australian Photography, at the Art Lounge, Auckland CBD, 14 June 2009

John B. Turner: Dr Isobel Crombie delivering her lecture on trends in contemporary Australian photography, at the Art Lounge, Auckland CBD, 14 June 2009

Wall Talking, an exhibition of paintings and photographs by Jane Zusters will be shown at Art Space Quiqcorp, 155 High Steet, Christchurch, opening 3-5pm on Sunday 31 May 2009. This exhibition of new work will finish on 26 June. “Wall talking, walk up to a wall quite cautiously because some walls are very shy – politely introduce yourself … and start talking to it as if it were listening to you.”  [from the invitation.]