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Revisiting the Boulevard du Temple: Architecture and Proto-Photography

Event Details

Revisiting the Boulevard du Temple: Architecture and Proto-Photography

Time: March 9, 2011 from 6pm to 8pm
Location: Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture
Street: 36 Bedford Square
City/Town: London WC1B 3ES
Website or Map:…
Phone: +44 (0)20 7887 4000
Event Type: talk
Organized By: The Photographers' Gallery
Latest Activity: Feb 27, 2011

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Event Description

This talk is part of our Key Speakers Series:Photography and the Built Environment.

This black & white image is of the Boulevard du Temples, Paris, captured in the 1830s by photographic pioneer Louis Daguerre.

"The silver plate represents the Boulevard du Temple, photographed by Duagerre from the window of his studio at a busy moment in the middle of the day.

The boulevard should be crowded with people and carriages, and yet, because the cameras of the period required an extremely long exposure time, absolutely nothing of this moving mass is visible.

Nothing, that is, except a small black silhouette on the sidewalk in the lower left-hand corner of the photograph. A man stopped to have his shoes shined, and must have stood still for quite a while, with his leg slightly raised to place his foot on the shoeshiner’s stool."  - Giorgio Agamben, Profanations, MIT Press 2007.

In this talk Prof Howard Caygill reconsiders these writings by political philosopher Giorgio Agamben, setting the image in the context of Daguerre's earlier work on panoramic cityscapes and dioramas.

Caygill is Professor of Modern European Philosophy at the Centre for Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University/Paris VIII. 

Price: £5.00

Member Price: £3.50

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