Final Major Project: Encounters: Photography and Curation, Photographer’s Gallery 2nd June 201
Notes for future reference and consideration from the symposium.
Panel one – Histories and Institutions
Sara Knelman (independent curator and writer)
Shoair Mavlian (Director, Photoworks)
Karen McQuaid (Senior Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery)
Renée Mussai (Senior Curator, Autograph ABP).
Panel two – Encounters
Tim Clark (Curator and Founding Editor, 1000 Words)
Lucy Moore (Director, Claire de Rouen Books)
Katrina Sluis (Curator, Digital Programme, The Photographers’ Gallery and Senior Lecturer, LSBU)
Lars Willumeit (independent curator, writer, and editor).
Keynote Speech – David Campany and Sara Knelman working on a book on the history of curation/exhibition of photography.
Photography curation is not widely discussed.
Photography is a fluid medium. It has qualities that no other medium has. In some respects, it sits outside of art in how it is disseminated.
Different perspectives of exhibition making and curation
Visitor experience important
Accessible to a wider audience
Appreciate photography’s ability to adapt to different space
Their observations –
exhibitions generate multiple and contradictory encounters with photographic images = confusion
Tate Modern 2003 – Cruel and Tender
Deal with confusion – work on show/exhibition design/advertising
spaces of exhibition encourage new and distinct photographic forms – walls are not a photograph’s first choice for display – pc screen or the printed page are perhaps more appropriate?
Photos need to expand and enlarge to fill white walls and rooms
photography has the ability to change and enlarge in size – very important
scale engenders encounters
exhibitions are ‘frames` but they are also objects
extremely dependent on installation views – not only of images on show but also on the documentation photographs of them
reviews do not give a measure of what is going on – do people double back and talk to each other etc?
How do they move within spaces?
curating – choose really good work and don’t mess it up
academic context – photography has a dispersed nature – photos inhabit whatever space or form you give them – it fits wherever it is placed.
don’t need to think about shifts in scale or materiality during making – you can change the size and surface once made, unlike art – where you have to consider this at the outset.
The viewer knows that they are looking at a choice about how the photo is presented
Presentation is a key aspect of the work – photographers are their own curators
Presentation is the architectural configuration of how the images work together etc.
Photography can be considered a specialism by some but not by others
Using images and text together can create a conversation.
Whose eyes are behind the camera, whose eyes are looking, whose eyes curate the images
Can plan an exhibition but should allow time for things to happen naturally – things happen – decisions made during the installation period. Draw up plans before installation as a guide – flat plans, sketch up, illustrator
Can you be too loyal to the medium of photography? Need to look at it in terms of other mediums at the same time, artists work across different mediums, so much work still to be done with photography – missing chapters to be filled in art history in relation to photography – all art mediums are different
Intersections between photographic and text mediums – consider these
photography butts up to other mediums – think wider than photography
photography is lots of things and it is ok to be lots of things – changing culture in some institutions
There is no need to be a big boundary between photography vs “art”
pair with others – get different audiences
some audiences ignore or are not aware of the dichotomy of medium
conversation that the work triggers
Barthes — singular vs plural – movement of forms through media, education etc.
Curate – choose transit of artwork from one form to another
Photography is the most light-footed medium
digital curation opens up audiences of work.
cognitive capitalism consumers value correlation – neurolinguistic and photographic
global knowledge centralises on the visual
what is at stake?
analyse holistically and systematically
consent and non-consent for use of images – not aware of new contexts – fictional narrative
machines with taste? machine curation
you think your photos are so unique, but everyone takes photos like you – reverse search through google images