Sensing the Image
Mondays 5 November - 10 December, 18:30 - 20:00
Can we think of the photograph not just as an image but an object that can be experienced or sensed, with a life of its own?
This six week course led by Marianne Mulvey asks what happens when we bring an embodied curiosity to photographs, to think not only about what we’re looking at but how we are looking and feeling, and what other kinds of information are in play. Across the sessions we work with the photograph as object, as image, with a surface and environment around it to consider what kinds of imaginative, physical, emotional and interpersonal connections we can make through it.
Each session is a workshop around a particular theme and photograph(s), drawing on theoretical and practical work into the critical potential of emotions, senses and the value of embodied knowledge. Activities will include discussion, writing, listening and informal curating, plus a guest workshop with photographer Jessa Fairbrother.
This course is for anyone interested in working with photographs and images in new ways to inform their own creative process, whatever that may be.
Week 1 - Touching Feeling
What is a photograph, what is an image, and what does an embodied approach to them look and feel like? In this first session we get to know each other as we tackle these questions and begin our exploration of what we bring to both photographs and images, and what we can do with them creatively.
Week 2 - Image Overload
Many of us take, share and look at images multiple times a day. But image overload is not just a contemporary problem - in 1977 Susan Sontag wrote about the loss of affect produced by documentary photography and news reportage. After a short and reading and discussion we visit the exhibition All I Know Is What's On The Internet to think about our current moment, and what our future relationship with images might be.
Week 3 - Memory Work
In this session inspired by the writings of Annette Kuhn, we work with memory to re-read and re-write images from our pasts. Through discussion and writing exercises we will create something new from old photographs.
Week 4 - Flirting with images
Inspired by Adam Phillips's On Flirtation we build on our work from the previous session to weave a collectively curated exhibition and gallery tour, taking us on a journey around The Photographers' Gallery.
Week 5 – Embodied Making
In this session we are joined by photographer Jessa Fairbrother to explore the connection between surfaces and emotion and how experience can manifest itself in the things we make. We consider the photograph as an object that is both touchable and touching.
Week 6 - Listening and Imagining
Drawing on pioneering composer Pauline Oliveros's practice of 'deep listening' we look at the relationship between photography, sound and the spoken word to open ourselves to other information around the image, parallel to the visual.
Marianne Mulvey is a curator, writer and educator. From 2009-16 she was Curator, Public Programmes at Tate Britain / Modern where she curated programmes around performativity, queer and feminist practices and performance architecture, amongst other things. Marianne has also worked at The Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery and Gasworks, and was a Trustee of Fierce Festival in Birmingham 2014-18. She teaches on curating at higher education institutions nationally and internationally and is the recipient of a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership award between Tate and Royal College of Art in partnership with Open School East and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art to research public programming in art institutions.
£200/£180 Members & Concessions