Photography Sets The Image Free: Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Henning, Michelle ORCID: (2018) Photography Sets The Image Free: Inaugural Professorial Lecture. In: Public Lecture Series, University of West London, 7 March 2018, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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Photography is commonly understood as a static medium that “freezes” the moment. This characterisation of photography privileges certain kinds of practice, draws a sharp distinction between it and moving-image media such as film and video, imagines the photograph as primarily a print, and underpins arguments about the predatory nature of photography and about the novelty of digital images. In her inaugural lecture, and through a close reading of aspects of Walter Benjamin’s Little History of Photography (1931) Michelle Henning argues for a different understanding of photography as something that sets images loose. Benjamin, following the art historian Heinrich Schwarz, characterised the photographs of David Octavius Hill in terms that would shape his theory of aura as an oscillation between distance and proximity. Drawing on her background in art history, cultural studies and artistic practice, Henning discusses this oscillation, this slipperiness of the image, in relation to questions of academic and artistic freedom.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Keywords: photography history; Walter Benjamin; David Octavius Hill; Hill and Adamson; early photography; The Man Who Fell to Earth; aura; photography theory; early German romanticism; Novalis; Schlegel;
Subjects: Media > Media history and theory
Media > Photography
Depositing User: Michelle Henning
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 14:34
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:25


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