The Outside Land: Stephen Dupont 2015 - ExhibitionAustralian Centre for Photography
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain, 1889
The Outside Land culminates a significant period of research focused on documenting the processes of change and increasing detribalisation in Papua New Guinea.
As a 2010 recipient of the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography from Harvard University, Stephen Dupont has been afforded the opportunity to spend prolonged periods of time travelling throughout the country, from its most isolated mountainous regions to its most urbanised and poverty-afflicted settlements. Such an investment in time and place allows Dupont’s lens to transcend the most immediate allure of tribal exoticisation, and instead enables a more nuanced reflection on the lives lived within the more populous environments. The artist says:
What I saw was both breathtaking and at times horrifying. From the sweeping lush valleys of the Highlands to the poverty-ridden settlements of Port Moresby I captured the beauty and decay of this intriguing land. I was interested in the traditional customs and culture and how human presence has affected the environment. What seems from afar to be the obvious destruction of culture and identity is clear, but through photography and art the impressions are much more imaginative. The landscape becomes a passage of time, space and place.
With images spanning back to 2004, but largely produced in 2011, the survey of selected works presents an empathetic perspective upon the natural beauty and infrastructural decay of Australia’s nearest international neighbour.
ACP Gallery, 20 June – 16 August 2015
Stephen Dupont lives and works in Sydney and has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at Museo Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Havana, Cuba; The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge; and Stokes Gallery, New York Public Library. Recent group exhibitions have been presented at the Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing; and the Australian War
Memorial, Canberra. Dupont has been a recipient of numerous photographic awards including a W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography; Robert Capa Gold Medal citation from the Overseas Press Club of America; Bayeux War Correspondent’s Prize; World Press Photo; and Pictures of the Year International.
Front gate to a home in Kaugere Settlement, Port Moresby, 2011.
three images from Tradestore street montage, Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, 2011.
Sunrise over Blackwater Lake, Middle Sepik, 2011
All images courtesy of the artist