Centre for Fine Art Research - Research Groups
A Series of Conversations organised by the Birmingham Photography and Archive Research Group
The imminent move of the city’s internationally significant 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 Library of Birmingham 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.
David Birkitt - THE BEAUTY ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY IS...
Thursday 27 June, 6.30pm
Lecture Theatre, School of Art, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University, Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BX.
After studying photography to degree level and assisting on shoots, David Birkitt decided to put down his camera and embark on a career as an agent for other photographers, a job he never even knew existed when he was at university. He now heads up DMB Media, bringing like-minded people together for ad hoc projects and long-term ventures, and working with established and emerging practitioners, including the likes of Martin Parr, WassinkLundgren, Simon Roberts and Finn Taylor.
David will talk about how he has been able to carve out a career around photography, using his background studying and working as an assistant to understand photographers' ways of thinking, and facilitating communication between them and their clients in a language they can both understand. As he commented in a recent interview, it may take time to become established, 'but the beauty about photography is; if you make it work for you, you never have to retire'.
Julian Germain and Hans van der Meer 'using photography'
Thursday 8 November 2012 at 6pm
EJP Lecture Theatre, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Gosta Green,
Corporation St/Aston Rd Birmingham B4 7DX.
Hans van der Meer and Julian Germain became friends in the mid 1990s, initially drawn together by shared interests in photography and football.
For both of them, photographic archives of various kinds, from picture libraries to family albums, were a vital source of information and inspiration. It was mostly unheralded, anonymous photographers, that directly influenced their thinking about the way they made and/or presented their own images.
In 2000, alongside Hans Aarsman, Claudie de Cleen and Erik Kessels they founded Useful Photography, a magazine whose title is intended literally. Usefulness is valued rather than aesthetics and all sources of photography may be deployed to have a discourse about modern life. Each issue deals with a single theme, such as missing persons, ebay or weddings.
How the archive from a Dutch cow photographer became an edition of Useful Photography is one of the stories that will be revealed.
Local Photographers and Local Histories: Doing a Photographic Survey 1885-1918 - Elizabeth Edwards
Thursday 15 November 2012 at 6pm
Library Theatre, off Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3HQ
Professor of Photographic History at De Montfort University, Leicester, Elizabeth Edwards will explore the ways in which amateur photographers of the late 19th century were encouraged to undertake 'photographic surveys' by recording ancient buildings, antiquities and 'customs' for the benefit of future generations. The Birmingham Photographic Society and its Photographic Survey of Warwickshire were especially influential in this field. [The lecture will also look at the way in which these activities and their perceived public utility might illuminate popular interests in history at the period, and how 'thinking with photographs' might enhance our own understanding.
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 Nordström 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
Magnum Sport: Icons and the Everyday
Church Street and Snow Hill Plaza,
Colmore Business District,
13 July - 9 September 2013
National Portrait Gallery, Road to 2012
13 July - 9 September 2012
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.
Directions to the Library Theatre below, or download a more detailed map here