Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
Following on from BPH's exclusive posting, here, in early October and here in September the Science Museum has announced that Media Space, the new 1800m2 purpose-built venue at the Science Museum will open in June 2013 with a major exhibition featuring contemporary artists' responses to scientific photography from the last two centuries.
Media Space will be based on the 2nd floor of the Science Museum and is a collaboration between the National Media Museum (Bradford), and the Science Museum (London), It will present two major exhibitions and a series of free installations in its studio space each year. The principal founding sponsor is Virgin Media and principal founding donor the Dana and Albert R Broccoli Foundation. The café/bar will be run by Benugo.
The first major exhibition in Media Space will be Revelations: Experiments in Photography, and the inaugural installation in the Virgin Media Studio space will be by digital art/design collective, Universal Everything. Hyundai Motor Company is Presenting Partner of the Universal Everything installation and further details will be announced in early 2013.
Revelations: Experiments in Photography will explore contemporary art photographers’ responses to scientific photography made between 1850 and 1920. The exhibition of nearly 80 works will draw upon important historical photographs from the collections of the National Media Museum and the Science Museum. Scientific photographs can have psychological and emotional power, revealing the world in new and surprising ways. The creation of these images and their dissemination among different audiences has changed over time as have their uses, impact and status.
The exhibition will include photographs made with the assistance of microscopes, telescopes and aircraft. It will look at the ways in which photography has opened new fields of vision, charted the effects of invisible energy, demonstrated the passage of time and captured moments too brief to be seen by the naked eye. It will include works by a broad spectrum of photographers including William Henry Fox Talbot, Joris Jansen. Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton, Sarah Pickering, Clare Strand, Etienne-Jules Marey and Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Hannah Redler has recently been appointed Head of Media Space and the Science Museum Arts Programme. First joining the Science Museum Group in 1998, Redler has been Head of Arts Programme at the Science Museum since 2004. Revelations is co-curated by Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs from the National Media Museum along with Dr Ben Burbridge of the University of Sussex.
The capital cost of the project is £4 million and the funding has been raised from a combination of corporate sponsorship, private donations and fundraising initiatives. The Principal Founding Sponsor of Media Space is Virgin Media after whom the Studio will be named. Virgin Media has made this long term commitment, building on their current support for the National Media Museum, which includes the Bradford International Film Festival and the Life Online gallery; the sponsorship of Media Space is a further demonstration of this developing partnership. Source magazine reports that the anticipated visitor numbers for the first exhibition which will run from June to September is 80,000-100,000.
A major donor to the project is the Dana and Albert R Broccoli Foundation set up by the family of the late Bond producer ‘Cubby’. A photography auction at Christies in May 2012 raised £370,000 towards the project and the recent James Bond 50th Anniversary auction raised a further £47,000 through the sale of the Tom Ford dinner jacket worn by Daniel Craig in Skyfall. Media Space has also received generous support in the form of donations or artworks from a large number of individuals, companies and artists including Ed Burtynsky, Luc Delahaye, Rineke Dijkstra, Mary McCartney and Taryn Simon. The Science Museum Group has also invested significantly in the capital project.
Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of Science Museum Group, says, ‘Media Space is a project that is long overdue. The National Photography Collection ought to be widely known and exhibited because it really is astonishing in quality and scale. We hope to reach diverse audiences and the dynamic, innovative and compelling programme at Media Space will make this happen.’
Hannah Redler, Head of Media Space, says: ‘Media Space is a really exciting project that in many ways realises the original vision for South Kensington to be a place where the two cultures of art and science coincide. We’ve enjoyed a long history at Science Museum of bringing contemporary art interventions into our science galleries, but Media Space offers an unprecedented opportunity for our audiences to encounter photographers and artists’ own investigations into our collections.’
Luke Southern, Virgin Media’s Head of Brand Activation and Partnership says, ‘We’re immensely proud to support this incredible new exhibition space. Both the still and moving image can have a powerful impact on people so, whether online, on TV, in the cinema or in a gallery, we care passionately about bringing that to life in a positive way. Media Space will provide the perfect platform to champion and showcase emerging talent as well as established artists who will inspire every generation.’
Revelations: Experiments in Photography will run from June –September 2013. Further information will be announced in December. Gift Aid ticket price £6.60, standard ticket price £6.00. Media Space is based on the 2nd Floor of the Science Museum on Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD.
For more information see: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/mediaspace
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