Re-Take: Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Photography

11 Novemeber – 11 Decemeber 1999

Brook Andrew, Mervyn Bishop, Brenda L. Croft, Destiny Deacon, Kevin Gilbert, Alana Harris, Ellen José, Leah King–Smith, Ricky Maynard, Peter McKenzie, Rea and Michael Riley

Aboriginal people have been photographed since the invention of the camera. These early images were viewed as records of a 'curious people', photographs of a supposedly dying race, who were also 'captured' or 'shot' by the camera for 'scientific' purposes. It was not until the 1980's however the Aboriginal photographers assumed a prominent position in both the Australian and International art scene. Taking the camera into their own hands, these artists re–take, re–present, re–claim and largely re–configure representations of Aboriginality.

Re-Take showcases the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander photographers from the 1960's to the 1990's. Undeniably political, the photographs in the exhibition focus on issues such as the history of European occupation of Australia, Aboriginal sovereignty and the nature of photographic representation, while remaining an up–beat celebration of indigenous culture.

A National Gallery of Australia touring exhibition. Curated and catalogue essay by Kelly Gellatly.