Photology: Michelle Henning
October 14 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Monday 8-10pm £3 on the door
Michelle Henning’s cultural history Photography: The Unfettered Image (Routledge 2018) is a revelatory survey beyond the tradition of understanding photography as a purely optical medium. It traces the inherent mobility of photography, accelerated by science, art, philosophy, politics, agriculture, industry, from its inception to today’s networked digital image.
Michelle will talk about Photography: The Unfettered Image and her current research using the archives of the photographic company Ilford Limited. She will explain how she arrived at her approach to photography history and theory, and where she is headed with it. In particular she will focus on three arguments: first, why it is not helpful to think about the pre-digital photograph as a means to ‘fix’ and ‘capture’ reality; second, the problems with the ways in which writers about digital photography tend to characterise older photography; third, the importance and usefulness of attending to the materiality of photographic processes, and their interconnectedness with other technologies and other practices.
She will talk about some photographs – examples by John Guttmann, Helen Levitt, Walker Evans and Ilse Bing – but also about film technologies and processes, in particular to explain the idea (explored in her recent research) that photographic materials, especially film and photosensitive emulsions were a central twentieth-century technology that underpinned and shaped all sorts of aspects of everyday experience.
Dr. Michelle Henning is Chair in Photography and Media, in the Communications and Media Department at the University of Liverpool.
image: Ilse Bing (American, b. Germany, 1899-1998) Self Portrait with Staccato, New York, 1957.