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14 March - 14 June 2015

History in the Taking: 40 Years of PhotoForum

In 2014, Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery presented the exhibition History in the Taking  to celebrate PhotoForum’s 40th anniversary. City Gallery is pleased to be showing the exhibition in Wellington.  Featuring around 150 photographs, the show  traces the development of art photography in New Zealand.  All the images featured in PhotoForum publications and exhibitions, and many have become iconic. Stars like Robin Morrison, Peter Peryer, Anne Noble, Laurence Aberhart, Fiona Clark and Peter Black feature alongside equally remarkable but now-neglected figures. The show also includes publications and posters.

These days, in New Zealand, photography is accepted as an art form, but it wasn’t always the case. In 1973, John Turner and others founded PhotoForum to lead the charge. Over the years, this grass-roots organisation has promoted photography through exhibitions and publications, particularly its magazine. Within the photography community, PhotoForum was also the catalyst for debates within photography, about the virtues of different approaches and individuals.  A product of the 1970s, PhotoForum saw the medium as entangled with counterculture lifestyles and protest movements. The show offers not only a history of New Zealand photography but also a slice of New Zealand social history. It is accompanied by Nina Seja’s comprehensive history PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand.

History in the Taking has been toured by PhotoForum. It was curated by Nina Seja and Geoffrey H. Short. Thanks also to the Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland.