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Not standing still: new approaches in documentary photography

18 April–5 July 2020

MGA’s headlining PHOTO 2020 exhibition Not standing still: new approaches in documentary photography will introduce Australian audiences to leading photographers from around the world who are making new documentary photography, many never having exhibited in Australia before, and place Australian photographers alongside their contemporaries. Heralding from 11 countries, these are the photographers who are changing the way we think about documentary photography.

PHOTO 2020 and Truth

PHOTO is a major new biennial international festival of photography that will activate Melbourne and sites across Regional Victoria with the most inspiring photography from Australia and around the world.

The theme of PHOTO 2020 is ‘Truth’ and MGA’s exhibition Not standing still: new approaches in documentary photography draws together artists who address the complexity of truth through the lens of new documentary photography. Photography is often seen as a truthful medium of record, however in recent decades photographers have used their tools to uncover and re-imagine truths through investigative, imaginative and allusive photography.

What is ‘New Documentary’ photography?

New documentary photography is about rethinking the traditional ways of representing what the camera sees. Instead of straight documentation, these photographers have sought new ways to communicate pressing social and political issues, at times even seeking to influence them.

Why new documentary photography?

New documentary photography has not been comprehensively examined in Australia, despite being a subject discussed extensively by artists, curators and commentators at photography festivals around the world, and through exhibitions in institutions such as Tate Modern and the International Center of Photography.

MGA will redress this oversight and engage in the global debate with an exhibition that is at forefront of photography and that reflects developments occurring within the medium. Through the lens of photography these artists challenge and question social, political and environmental issues that are intensely relevant for all audiences, revealed through novel formats mixing in fiction, narrative and emotion to convey the complexity of truth in our day and age.

Support Us

Not standing still: new approaches in documentary photography is ambitious in scale and scope, involving 14 artists from 11 countries. This exhibition provides us with an opportunity to elevate MGA’s profile nationally and internationally through the reach and gravitas of the inaugural PHOTO 2020 photography festival (23 April to 10 May 2020).

We need your help to raise $35,000 to realise Not standing still: new approaches in documentary photography which will directly support artists through artist fees, printing and framing of works for the exhibition.

Join us by making a tax deductible gift to help us achieve our target before 30 June 2020. Your support will have a significant impact on MGA and our legacy of ground-breaking exhibitions.

This is a pivotal moment in MGA’s history and with your support we will elevate our artistic program to new heights.


MGA Foundation (ABN 93 138 339 688) is a registered Charity, endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient and a public ancillary fund covered by Item 2 of the table in section 30–15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.


Monash Gallery of Art (ABN 23 118 071 457) is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient and covered by Item 1 & 4 of the table in section 30–15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Gifts of artworks can be received under the Cultural Gifts Program.
Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

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