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Centre for Contemporary Photography presents an annual series of free public lectures.
Photography as Crime
Without Words brings together photographic and video works from both art and documentary realms that engage with emotional affect, sincerity, passion and empathy. When art photography has abandoned its indexical relation to the real, how might it convey sorrow, humiliation, love or grief? Equally, can austerity be a powerful force in the historical record?
The exhibition is presented in association with Melbourne Law School’s IILAH and APCML symposium, Affective States of International Criminal Justice, 20–22 July 2011 and supported by the Australian Research Council War Crimes Project. The symposium will bring together speakers interested in reflecting on, talking about and engaging with the emotional life that organises or informs or disrupts the distinctive but plural communities of international criminal justice.
CCP will host this closing session of the symposium, a panel discussion with presentations by Without Words curator Kyla McFarlane and exhibiting artist Tom Nicholson, chaired by Professor Gerry Simpson, Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law. Join us for an engaging discussion across the disciplines of art and law.
Kyla McFarlane is Associate Curator, CCP.
Tom Nicholson is an artist and Lecturer in Drawing at the Faculty of Art and Design at Monash University. Nicholson’s cross-media and performative practice engages with ideas of the monument and action in relation to sovereignty and the formation of individual and collective history and site. He has exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including at The Hague, Berlin, Sienna and Santiago. He is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Sydney.
Professor Gerry Simpson is Kenneth Bailey Professor of Law, Melbourne Law School and Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law.
Download Kyla McFarlane's lecture recording MP3, 8.5MB
Download Tom Nicholson's lecture recording MP3, 5.4MB
Dr Alison Nordström will survey the history of George Eastman House—the oldest museum of its kind in the world—since its opening in 1947. Nordström will address the formation of Eastman House collections and the influence of those collections on our understanding of photographic history. She will discuss the seminal Eastman House exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape (1975). In its day, New Topographics signalled the emergence of a new approach to landscape photography. Finally, Nordström will consider how contemporary artists like Abelardo Morrell, Mark Klett and Simon Norfolk are using 19th century material to explore the contents and form of the historical archive.
Alison Nordström is Curator of Photographs at George Eastman House. She was the Founding Director and Senior Curator of the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida from 1991 to 2002 where she curated over 100 exhibitions of photography including the popular biennial series Fresh Work. At George Eastman House she initiated the contemporary biennial Vital Signs, and curated the exhibitions Paris: Photographs by Eugene Atget & Christopher Rauschenberg; Why Look at Animals? and Found: Photographs by Gerald Slota. Nordström writes and lectures extensively on contemporary photography and holds a PhD in Cultural and Visual Studies.
Alison Nordström is in Australia as a guest of Bendigo Art Gallery for the exhibition American Dreams: 20th Century Photography from George Eastman House.
Download Alison Nordström's lecture recording MP3, 29.7MB
In October 2008 I was invited to join a group of artists and academics in Cyprus to inaugurate the 'Famagusta Project'. In August 1974 the Varosha suburb of Famagusta was encircled and cordoned off by the then invading Turkish army. The former beach resort, now in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus, has remained an unoccupied exclusion zone ever since. The organisers of the 'Famagusta Project' defined their aim as that of bringing an 'artistic point of view' (regard artistique) to Varosha in order to explore symbolic dimensions of the situation inaccessible to a 'journalistic or historical' approach.
Almost all of the artists invited to take part in the Project were photographers and filmmakers working within one or other 'documentary' tradition. Discussions between participants during the week they spent together revealed differences both in regard to the definition of an approach that is 'artistic rather than journalistic or historical' and in their political response to the division of Cyprus. On my return from Cyprus I posted a response to the organisers, on a blog dedicated to the Project, in which I questioned the idea of an 'artistic regard' that might offer insights into violent historical events that were denied to other points of view. In my talk I expand on these remarks.
Victor Burgin is one of the most influential artists and theorists of our time. He first came to prominence in the late 1960s as an originator of conceptual art, when his work appeared in such key exhibitions as When Attitudes Becomes Form (1969) and Information (1970). Burgin is Professor Emeritus of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Emeritus Professor of Visual Arts at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His writings focus on the production of meanings and affects through images 'at the intersections of subjective desire and sociopolitical organisation' and draw on diverse representational spheres (photography, film, painting, advertising and the Internet) and theoretical fields (semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminist theory and cultural studies). Burgin's academic books include Situational Aesthetics (2009), The Remembered Film (2004), In/Different Spaces: Place and Memory in visual culture (1996), The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity (1986), and Thinking Photography (1982). The most recent books devoted to his visual work are Components of a Practice (Skira, 2008), and Victor Burgin: Objets Temporels (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2007). His most recent book, Parallel Texts: Interviews and Interventions About Art (2011), has just been published by Reaktion, London. He is currently working on The Prosthetic Unconscious: Psychoanalysis and Virtual Worlds, for Polity books.
Victor Burgin was in Melbourne to participate in the ARC-funded free-entry symposium Digital Light: Technique, Technology, Creation at the University of Melbourne on 18–19 March 2011. www.digital-light.net.au
Download Victor Burgin's lecture recording MP3, 45.5MB