Power Institute - The University of Sydney

Book Launch & Lecture - Apparitions: Photography and Dissemination

Join us for the launch of our latest co-publication with NAMU, Apparitions: Photography and Dissemination by Geoffrey Batchen at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The launch will be preceded by a lecture by Batchen entitled 'Light and dark: a little history of the negative'.

An engaging and provocative account of photography’s first commercial applications in England and their global implications. This book addresses a persistent gap in the study of photography’s history, moving beyond an appreciation of single breakthrough works to consider the photographic image’s newfound reproducibility and capacity for circulation through newsprint and other media in the nineteenth century. Batchen asks:

“Can we now devise a history for photography built around the logic of movement and transformation, migration and dissemination, rather than that of origin and singularity? Can we at last abandon the familiar safety of a history restricted to the photograph alone, and allow the structure of our narratives to emulate the sometimes illicit flow back and forth across boundaries and identities that has always characterised both the photographic image and modern life and culture? Writing a story worthy of this dynamic—a history for photography rather than a history of photographs—is, I believe, the challenge that historians like me now face. This book is a fledgling attempt to take up that challenge.”

Photo historian Geoffrey Batchen presents the lecture ‘Light and dark: a little history of the negative’. One of the distinctive characteristics of photography is the fact that most analogue photographs are positive prints made from a negative. However the negative is often regarded as a secondary entity by critics and scholars, if it is discussed at all. This talk offers a condensed history of the negative, looking at work by a range of practitioners, including William Henry Fox Talbot, Man Ray, Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon and Andreas Gursky. Learn about the ways the negative complicates our understanding of the photograph through this fascinating exploration of its role.

Lecture 6:00–7:00pm
Launch 7:00-8:30pm
Wednesday 9 October 2019
Centenary Auditorium
Art Gallery NSW
$15 adult
$12 member/concession

Tickets include entry to the lecture and an invitation to the launch of Geoffrey Batchen’s new book Apparitions: Photography and Dissemination at the Gallery following this lecture. The book will be available for discounted purchase with book signing. Light refreshments provided. Book your ticket via the AGNSW website.

Apparitions: Photography and Dissemination was published by NAMU, the Publishing House of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and Power Publications. 

Event starts
Wednesday 9 October, 2019
Event Ends
Wednesday 9 October, 2019
6-8.30pm, Centenary Auditorium
Venue Address
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, Sydney NSW 2000

Sydney, ,

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