British photographic history

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Birmingham: Photography, the Archive and the City

The imminent move of the city’s photographic archive to a new purpose-built facility provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the complex interrelationship between photography, the archive and the city. It is with this in mind, and informed by debates about the changing nature of photography in the digital age, that Birmingham City University and Birmingham Central Library are collaborating to present a series of free, public conversations with some of the world’s leading photographers, curators, historians and theorists of photography to share their ideas and experiences of working with photography and the archive in order to situate local debates in a global context.

Monday 25th June 2012, 6.00pm 
Library Theatre, off Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3HQ 
The Shadow of a Dark Horse in Low Light – Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin 

This talk will focus on the artists’ practice of working with and responding to historical photographs and collections. Broomberg and Chanarin explore the task of the artist to disturb the ordered categories of the archive, uncovering hidden gestures and narratives and reactivating cultural memory.

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin are artists living and working in London. Their latest book War Primer 2 is published by MACK (2011). They teach at the School of Visual Arts in New York, are Visiting Fellows at the University of the Arts London and will be running a semester at ZHdK in Zurich this autumn.

Thursday 28th June 2012, 6.00pm 
Library Theatre, off Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3HQ 
On Becoming the Magnum Archive – Alison Nordström

The talk will examine the transition of the Magnum ‘picture library’ from its original status as a collec.on of images and a tool for doing business to a photographic ‘archive’ housed at the University of Texas. In doing so it tracks the parallel shift in thinking about photography that has taken place over recent decades, accompanied by the digital turn.

Alison Nordstrom is Curator of Photographs, George Eastman House, Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York. She has curated over 100 exhibitions of photography including major surveys of landscape, portraiture, travel photographs and journalism.

Joining Alison to discuss the issues raised in her talk will be Nick Galvin, former Archive Director, Magnum Photos, London

This series is organised by the Birmingham Photography and Archive Research Group, BIAD, Birmingham City University in conjunction with the photography archives at Birmingham Central Library. Further talks in the series are planned for Autumn 2012.

 

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