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The Spaces of Photography. Five New Arguments on William Henry Fox Talbot

Event Details

The Spaces of Photography. Five New Arguments on William Henry Fox Talbot

Time: May 8, 2019 from 6pm to 7:30pm
Location: Room 114 (Keynes Library),
Street: 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, WC1H 0PD
City/Town: London
Website or Map: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/research…
Event Type: talk, -, free, and, open, to, all
Organized By: Patrizia Di Bello
Latest Activity: Apr 29

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Event Description

Mirjam Brusius (German Historical Institute, London)

The Spaces of Photography. Five New Arguments on William Henry Fox Talbot

William Henry Fox Talbot had to be excavated. In October 1966 digs began on the grounds of Lacock Abbey in the hope of uncovering relics of the Victorian gentleman of science, antiquarian, and inventor of the calotype. In the following decades Talbot became well known as a major protagonist in early Fine Art photography, yet his papers suggest that he was more concerned with the sciences than ‘high art’ in the strictest sense. This is echoed in the large bulk of photo archives that derive from the medium’s industrial and scientific applications or vernacular genres, in which aesthetics only appears as a single piece in a puzzle.

So, who or what ‘turned’ Talbot into an artist? Taking material and archival practices as a starting point, Mirjam Brusius will give insight into the book project she is about to complete. The paper argues that not only the actual photographs and the complex practices surrounding them but also their detachments from their original archival context, and their dispersal between different institutions, museums and the art market determine the framework for the study of Talbot, and that of the history of photography itself.

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