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Conference: Camera Work: History and Global Reach of an International Art Magazine / Zurich: 9-11 March 2018

Camera Work: A Photographic Quarterly (1903-1917) committed itself to the establishment of photography as a form of art and in the course of its publication became an important distributor of European modernism in the United States. In both respects the international network of the journal was an important prerequisite. Camera Work’s global reach manifested itself in the content of the texts and images as well as in the production of the magazine, its distribution, and reception.

As one of the outputs of international research project this conference examines Camera Work’s internationality. It analyzes cultural specifics, intercultural relationships, and their theoretical reflection. With a special focus on the reception and distribution of Camera Work in Japan, the presentations investigate transpacific and transatlantic connections. The aim is to identify specific conditions, such as the extended duration of Pictorialism in Japan, its amalgamation with the aesthetic strategies of New Vision, and simultaneous integration of traditional Japanese pictorial formulas, materials, and motives. In addition, the technical and material requirements for the institutionalization of Camera Work in Europe and the U.S. are examined, for instance the international correspondence of the people involved and the reproduction techniques used—facts that shed light on the social background of Pictorialism and emerging modernism.

The Japanese case asks for a theoretical and methodological discussion on modernism in the plural whilst the second example requires an angle of vision from below, especially with regards to an elite venture such as Camera Work. The conference thus opens up a further emphasis: it invites the investigation of the localization of research on the topic of Camera Work itself.


Friday 9 March 2018
Swiss Institute for Art Research SIK-ISEA, Zollikerstrasse 32, 8032 Zurich
15:30 Viewing of original issues of Camera Work (for invited guests only)
16:30 Registration
17:00 Welcome address: Roger Fayet, director SIK-ISEA
17:05 Evening lecture: Bettina Gockel, University of Zurich: “Camera Work and Gender in a Globalized Photographic World.”
18:35 Reception (Apéro riche)

Saturday 10 March 2018
University of Zurich, Building Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich. Auditorium, Room G01
9:30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Welcome address: Kaspar Fleischmann, Dr. Carlo Fleischmann Foundation
10:15 Opening remarks: Bettina Gockel, University of Zurich Seite 2/2 Kunsthistorisches Institut
10:30 Anne McCauley, Princeton University: "Production/Reproduction: Circulating Pictorial Photographs in the Era of Camera Work"
11:15 Lauren Kroiz, University of California, Berkeley: “Anne Brigman, Camera Work, and California”
12:00 Lunch
13:30 Julien Faure-Conorton, École du Louvre, Paris: “Making Camera Work an International Endeavor: Alfred Stieglitz and French Pictorial Photography”
14:15 Thilo Koenig, University of Zurich: “Camera Work in Europe: Italy and Germany”
15:00 Coffee
15:45 Catherine Berger, University of Zurich: “Camera Work: A Quarterly Containing All the Arts”
16:30 Reception (Apéro riche)
17:30 Evening lecture on the occasion of Bettina Gockel’s ten-year anniversary: Kelley Wilder, De Montfort University, Leicester: “The Furtherance of Modern Photographic History: On a Decade of Photo Historical Innovation.”

Sunday 11 March 2018
University of Zurich, Building Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich. Auditorium, Room G01
10:00 Registration and coffee
10:30 Yuko Ikeda, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo: “Jugendstil and the Japanese in Camera Work: Their Aesthetic Exchanges”
11:15 Kerry Ross, DePaul University, Chicago: “Magic in the Darkroom? Pictorialism and Amateur Photography in Early Twentieth-Century Japan”
12:00 Lunch
13:30 Jennifer Coates, Kyoto University: “Pictorialism and its After-Images: Post-War Japanese Cinema Culture”
14:15 Stephanie Tung, Princeton University: “A Fusion of Feeling and Scene: Liu Bannong and Art Photography in Republican Era Beijing, 1923-1928”
15:00 Coffee, discussions, farewells and final tours in Zurich

Symposium organized as part of the project “Camera Work: Inside/Out,” University of Zurich, Institute
of Art History/Center for Studies in the Theory and History of Photography, in collaboration with the
Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA)

Find out  more here:

Contact: Catherine Berger, Rämistrasse 73, CH-8006 Zürich e:

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