Not Standing Still: New Approaches in Documentary Photography

17 February 2021 - 16 May 2021
Image: Alec Soth, [Adelyn, Ash Wednesday, New Orleans, Louisiana] (detail), from the series Sleeping by the
Mississippi, 2000. Courtesy the artist.

Image: Alec Soth, Adelyn, Ash Wednesday, New Orleans, Louisiana (detail), from the series Sleeping by the Mississippi, 2000. Courtesy the artist.


17 February 2021 - 16 May 2021




Monash Gallery of Art [i]
860 Ferntree Gully Rd, Wheelers Hill
Tue – Fri, 10am – 5pm
Sat – Sun, 10am – 4pm


Wheelchair access, Accessible Toilets, Accessible Parking

This headline exhibition for PHOTO 2021 features photographers from around the world who are challenging documentary photography’s relationship with truth.

Not standing still celebrates divergent and conceptual photographic processes that discuss current issues of environment, politics, warfare, judicial inequality, racism, history, and revolution.

Over the past 15 years, documentary photography has been approached differently, and as a result, new ways of ‘telling’ have emerged. What was once the territory of the traditional photojournalist is now shared with photographers who see themselves as artists and collaborators, more interested in raising questions than in telling complete, digestible stories.

The image-makers in this exhibition use contemporary modes of photographic storytelling. They promote personal connection and long-term interaction with a subject. They seek respectful representation of marginal voices, and they co-opt narrative structures, and even fictions. All this asks for a deep and meaningful engagement by the viewer to unpack the truths of each subject.

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  • Daniel Boetker-Smith (AU)

    Daniel Boetker-Smith is the Director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, and the Founder of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive. He was previously Dean of Studies at Photography Studies College and is a regular contributor to a range of Australian and international print and online publications.

  • Pippa Milne (NZ)

    Pippa Milne is a writer and curator based in Melbourne. She is the Senior Curator at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne and has been working with photography since 2011. She was previously Curator at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne and Associate Curator of International Art at Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. Recent exhibitions Pippa has curated include Bill Henson: The light fades but the gods remain (2019), Architecture Makes Us: Cinematic Visions of Sonia Leber and David Chesworth (2018) (co-curated with Naomi Cass and Made Spencer Castle) and An unorthodox flow of images (co-curated with Naomi Cass) (2017). Pippa is a regular contributor to publications and institutions in Australia and New Zealand and has been a nominator for various prizes including ICP Infinity Award and Prix Pictet.


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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