Research seminar: History of Photography


Image and the Abyss

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Partial view of young boy leaping with his reflection creates a whole of the boy
Detail from "Untitled", from The Picture Collection series, Annie MacDonell, 2012

Speaker(s): Annie MacDonell (Grange Prize artist in residence)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Julian Stallabrass and Sara Knelman

Gathering together a constellation of images, writing and film produced around a single theme, the event is as much performance and screening as it is a talk.




The works presented build upon the two texts which have been key to MacDonell's practice over the last few years, Craig Owens' 'Photography en abyme', and Rosalind Krauss' 'Originality of the Avant Garde'.  The talk carves out a space in which ideas of originality, historicity and formal repetition can be made to overlap.

Annie MacDonell is a Toronto-based visual artist working with photography, film, sculpture, installation. Her recent work draws attention to how still and moving images are staged in the spaces of gallery and cinema, creating multi-layered, uncanny and formally elegant meditations on the act of looking. Annie MacDonell received a BFA from Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts in 2000, followed by graduate studies at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, in Tourcoing, France. Recent solo shows include the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Mercer Union Gallery, in Toronto. She has participated in group exhibitions at The Power Plant, Toronto, Mulherin & Pollard, New York, Le Grand Palais, Paris and the 2012 Daegu Photo Biennale, in South Korea. In 2012 she was long-listed for the Sobey Art Award and short-listed for the Grange Prize. She teaches in the photography department at Ryerson University and her work is represented by Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art.

The History of Photography research seminar series aims to be a discursive platform for the discussion and dissemination of current research on photography. From art as photography and early photographic technology to ethnographic photographs and contemporary photography as art, the seminar welcomes contributions from researchers across the board, whether independent or affiliated with museums, galleries, archives, libraries or higher education, and endeavours to provide scholars with a challenging opportunity to present work in progress and test out new ideas.

The seminars usually take place once a term, on Wednesday evenings at 5.30pm in the Research Forum. The papers, and formal discussion, are followed by informal discussion and refreshments.

Seminar followed by a reception sponsored by the Canadian High Commission

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