Photography in the Street and Studio is a symposium coinciding with Tate Modern’s major photography exhibition of the same title, this study day examines different histories of the photographic portrait, in the street and in the studio.

Photography in the Street and Studio – Part 1: Documents and Pictures

Session 1: Documents and Pictures

Speaker: Steve Edwards, teacher of Art History at the Open University

Steve Edwards explores some of the antimonies or contrasts that have shaped photography from its origin in the nineteenth century to the present. This short survey presentation provides an introduction to ideas and photographic practices relevant for this study day.

Suggested Further Reading

Steve Edwards, Profane illumination: Photography and photomontage in the USSR and Germany, Steve Edwards & Paul Wood eds, Art of the Avant-Gardes (Yale University Press, 2004, pp.395–425)

Steve Edwards, Vernacular Modernism, Paul Wood ed., Varieties of Modernism Y(ale University Press, 2004, pp.241–70)

Steve Edwards, Photography Out of Conceptual Art, Gill Perry & Paul Wood eds, (Themes in Contemporary Art, Yale University Press, 2004, pp.137–80)

Steve Edwards, Photography: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press 2006)

Photography in the Street and Studio – Part 2: Staged, Estranged, Candid and Observed: Mass-Observation & Photography

Session 2: Staged, Estranged, Candid and Observed: Mass-Observation & Photography

Speaker: Russell Roberts, Senior Research Fellow in Photography at the University of Wales, Newport, and Ffotogallery, Cardiff

Russell Roberts looks at the ways that Mass-Observation engaged with photography during the 1930s and 40s, to understand social dynamics of the historical moment. The paper looks to specific applications of documentary realism in relation to urban space and more choreographed depictions of daily life from the street to the home to the place of work. The intellectual and cultural frameworks of Mass-Observation also provide a fascinating contrast with some of the more recent developments by artists in depicting public life, and Mass-Observation’s ambitions for ‘an anthropology of ourselves’ in relation to contemporary photography has a particular resonance for revisiting some of those founding ideas.

Suggested further reading

Exhibition – Memory & The Archive: Photographs/Images/Documents (John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, 1995)

Exhibition & catalogue – In Visible Light: Photography and Classification in Art, Science & The Everyday (Museum of Modern Art, Oxford 1997)

Exhibition catalogue: A Matter of Fact: The Rhetoric of Documentary ‘Style’ in FABULA (NMPFT 2002)

Exhibition & book: A Gentle Madness – The Photographs of Tony Ray Jones 9Arles, Rotterdam & National Museum of Photography, Film and Television 2004–5)

Photography in the Street and Studio – Part 3: Curator’s Talk

Session 3: Curator’s Talk

Speaker: Bettina Kaufmann, Assistant Curator at Tate Britain

Bettina Kaufmann gives an introduction to the Street & Studio exhibition at Tate Modern. She discusses the curatorial issues that arise from the juxtaposition of street and studio photography: at first glance they appear to be two divided image worlds, but interestingly there are inclusions and interplays of specific elements between the two genres. Street photography stands for spontaneity and immediacy, a place that is continuously changing, opposite to the originally quiet, formal and private studio photography. The show aims to present the codes of representation, the continual exchange, and the differences between these two central locations of photographic production from the nineteenth century to the present day.

Suggested further reading

Street & Studio, exh.cat. Tate Modern (London, 2008)

Frizot, Michel, Nouvelle histoire de la photographie (Paris, 1995)

Westerbeck, Colin / Meyerowitz, Joel, Bystander: A History of Street Photography (New York / Boston, 1994)

Max Kozloff, The Theatre of the Face (London, 2008)

Photography in the Street and Studio – Part 4: Q&A Session 1

Q&A Session 1

Photography in the Street and Studio – Part 6: Celebrities in the Street and Studio

Session 5: Celebrities in the Street and Studio

Speaker: Stephen Bull, artist, writer, curator and lecturer

During what could be called The Golden Age of Celebrity, from the 1920s to the 1960s, photographs of the famous were usually carefully staged in the studio. Stars were portrayed as godlike: separate from the mere mortals who worshipped them. With the arrival of paparazzi photography, celebrities came to be pictured walking the same streets as you and I and the stars were brought down to earth. Being able to download and possess digital photographs of the famous (perhaps taken only hours before) has altered fan culture further, creating the effect of an even greater intimacy with those who we have never met. Taking the photographs of celebrities in the Street & Studio exhibition as a starting point, Stephen Bull discusses the changing nature of photography and fame.

Suggested further reading

Becker, K.E.(2003) Photojournalism and the Tabloid Press in Wells, L. ed. The Photography Reader London: Routledge

Bull, S (2008/9) Photography and Celebrity in Photography London: Routledge (forthcoming)

Bull, S. (2002) Wealthy, Happy and Relaxed in Source: The Photographic Review No.32, Autumn pp. 37–39

Muir, R. (2005) The World’s Most Photographed, London: National Portrait Gallery

Rojek, C. (2001) Celebrity, London: Reaktion

Thorne, S. and Bruner, G.C.(2006) An Exploratory Investigation of the Characteristics of Consumer Fanaticism in Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal Vol.1 No.1

Photography in the Street and Studio – Part 7: Fables: Towards a Digital Imaginary

Session 6: FABLES: Towards a Digital Imaginary

Speaker: Karen Knorr, teacher in photography at the University College of Creative Arts in Farnham

Karen Knorr speaks about her recent work FABLES which continues her investigation into high art culture and its museum context using live and dead animals photographed in museums and heritage sites across France. FABLES, a survey show of Knorr’s work will be exhibited at Centrale Electrique, European Centre for Contemporary Art until September 28 2008.

Suggested further reading

A Matter of Life and Death 1946 (Film by Powell and Pressburger)

The Birds 1963 (Film by Alfred Hitchcock)

Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaux (1980)

Peter Atterton and Matthew Calarco (Eds.), Animal Philosophy Ethics and Identity (2004 Continuum)

Paul Shepard, The Others : How Animals Made Us Human , (1996 Island Press)

Carolyn Merchant’ Reinventing Eden, The Fate of Nature in Western Culture, (2003 Routledge)

Steve Baker, The Postmodern Animal, (2000 Reaktion Books)

Photography in the Street and Studio – Part 8: Q&A Session 2

Conference video recordings: Q&A Session 2