Exterior of CCP / Image courtesy CCP

Exterior of CCP / Image courtesy CCP

Introducing... Centre for Contemporary Photography


In the first of our ongoing series of interviews where we introduce our program partners, we speak to Adam Harding, Director of Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP), about the significance of PHOTO 2020 taking place in Melbourne and why, in our current political and cultural climate, the way in which an image is used to convey or distort truth, is more important than ever.

Why is photography as a medium important for CCP?

The Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) was founded by a group of 13 photographers in 1986, and to this day CCP has maintained its focus in the photographic field. For over 30 years CCP has connected Melbourne’s photographic community to national and international discourse and developments in the sector, as well as forged a place within the ecology of Australia’s contemporary art organisations as a medium-specific gallery. For us, photography connects to the currency of everyday life, allows us to see the past more clearly and tests the boundaries for the development of a future Australia.

Why is it important for CCP to participate in PHOTO 2020?

Throughout our history, we have engaged with artists, institutions, curators and most importantly those who produce work in the field of photography, to share its power with as many communities as possible. PHOTO 2020 represents an important opportunity to bring more communities together; we can’t wait to see how the power and beauty of the medium we have championed for over 30 years can transform our city.

gallery exhibition install

The Art of Publishing: An Exhibition of MACK Books, 2018, Images courtesy CCP

The Art of Publishing: An Exhibition of MACK Books, 2018, Images courtesy CCP

Why is it significant that PHOTO 2020 is taking place in Melbourne?

Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, and increasingly the focal point for international guests; the city, enlivened by the many excellent cultural institutions participating in the festival, and with a wealth of prominent civic spaces, provides the ideal platform for a city-wide festival celebrating photography. The calibre of participating galleries and dynamism of those civic spaces that will be activated will ensure the photographic medium (and the theme of ‘truth’) are prominent in the everyday experience of Melbourne locals and visitors alike.

gallery exhibition install at CCP

Chen Wei: The Club, 2017, Image courtesy CCP / J Forsyth

Why is the relationship between photography and the truth important to investigate in the post-internet age?

Photography, on the surface, is considered by many to be a medium representing ‘truth’ – an accurate depiction of a moment in time. Of course, this isn’t necessarily always the case, and we’re increasingly seeing the power of an image to distort the truth, often to perpetuate a narrative or idea that serves a powerful agenda. We do need to consider, what is the relationship between photography and the truth; is it a tool to accurately convey, or is it more successful in its distortions?

What can we expect from CCP during PHOTO 2020?

CCP has a proud history of presenting exhibitions by prominent practitioners that powerfully and elegantly tackle complex ideas, and without giving anything away, I expect audiences will see CCP continue to surprise, celebrate the artists’ voice and entice us to look again.

Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March