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Against Photographic Exceptionalism

Against photographic exceptionalism

Monday 2 December 2013, 4.30PM

Speaker(s): Stephen Bann

Irritation is not a very respectable motive for academic research, but I must confess to having been irritated for many years by the attribution to the painter Paul Delaroche of the phrase ‘From today painting is dead’.  The repetition of this phrase, supposedly uttered by Delaroche on seeing his first daguerreotype in 1839, perpetuates the mythic notion of the ‘invention of photography’, and so distorts the history of the actual operations of the photographic image in that period. It is never easy to prove that someone did not say something. But I will review some of the more productive ways in which photography can be seen in relation to other modes of printmaking, and to the significant shift in the temporal dimension of image-making that takes place over the nineteenth century.

Location: Vanbrugh College V/045

Admission: Admission is free, everyone is welcome!