Talk: Faces, Bruce Gilden in conversation with Susan Van Wyk

27 February 2021
NGV Triennial 2020 installation view of Bruce Gilden’s works
© Bruce Gilden. Photo: Tom Ross

NGV Triennial 2020 installation view of Bruce Gilden’s works © Bruce Gilden. Photo: Tom Ross


27 February 2021

Saturday, 11am-12pm (AEST)




NGV International [i]
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 3000
Daily, 10am - 5pm
Anzac Day Open 1 – 5pm, 25 Apr
Christmas Day Closed, 25 Dec


This event is online

Faces 2012–14 is an extended series of compelling photographic portraits by artist Bruce Gilden, featured in the NGV Triennial. These large-scale portraits, filmed in extreme close-up, show every line and blemish on his subject’s faces, drawing attention to the lack of facial symmetry and perceived imperfections that mark us all as individuals. Gilden describes the series as an autobiographical reflection on his childhood in Brooklyn and the result of a lifelong fascination with ‘characters’ he encounters in pursuit of his subjects.

Gilden reflects on this work and discusses the concept and creative process behind its creation with NGV’s Senior Curator of Photography Susan Van Wyk.

Presented as part of Photo 2021.

This program will be delivered online. To receive a reminder please register your attendance.

A link to join the event will be emailed to you the day before.

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  • Bruce Gilden (US)

    Bruce Gilden initially enrolled to study sociology at Penn State University before he began taking classes in photography around 1967. Shortly after this time, he abandoned his formal studies and commenced a career in photography, which has spanned more than 50 years. He is renowned for his direct style of street photography, often working quite close to his subjects, resulting in dynamic – if sometimes uncomfortable – images of people going about their lives. Gilden has held numerous exhibitions of his photography and published eighteen monographs of his work. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Magnum Photo Agency.

  • Susan Van Wyk

    Susan van Wyk is the Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Victoria. Since joining the NGV, she has worked on more than sixty exhibitions of Australian and international photography. Recent exhibitions include Olympia: Photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou, Colony: Australia 1770-1861, Bill Henson, Alex Prager, Thomas Demand, and William Eggleston. Over a thirty-year career Susan has written numerous catalogues, contributed to and journals on photography and she is the author of a number of books including: Olympia: Photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou, No Standing Only Dancing: Photographs by Rennie Ellis, and The Paris End: Photography Fashion and Glamour.

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