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	Image: Unknown photographer Australian scenery, Middle Harbour, Port Jackson c1865 (detail) carte de visite, 5.8 × 8.6 cm, Art Gallery of NSW, gift of Josef & Jeanne Lebovic, Sydney 2014

Photography symposium

Trafficking images: histories and theories of photographic transmission

The Power Institute for Art and Visual Culture and the Art Gallery of NSW co-present the Gallery’s major academic event for 2015.

The Trafficking images photography symposium features Australian and international scholars at the vanguard of photographic history and theory, as well as contemporary artists.

Held in conjunction with the exhibition The photograph and Australia, the symposium addresses a key aspect of the medium of photography: its apparent ability to move effortlessly and pervasively through physical and virtual worlds. The photograph is defined by its capacity for reproduction, repetition and dissemination; even unique objects like daguerreotypes and ambrotypes have travelled around the world as mementos, records and evidence.

Trafficking images implies both licit and illicit activities in the making, movement and consumption of these objects, raising questions about the histories that photographic images actually relate and how we might fulfil the destiny of this ubiquitous medium.

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Speakers and papers


Symposium welcome
Michael Brand, director, Art Gallery of NSW

Introduction to The photograph and Australia
Judy Annear, senior curator, photographs, Art Gallery of NSW

‘In struggle united’: Heartfield, Zhitomirsky and socialist satirical photomontage after the 1930s
Erika Wolf, associate professor, Department of History and Art History, University of Otago, Dunedin

Circulating new knowledge: photography and the reframing of imperial science
Kathleen Davidson, independent scholar, The University of Sydney


Unhinged photographs
Patrick Pound, Melbourne-based artist whose collaborative work (with Rowan McNaught) The compound lens project (2014–15) is on display in The photograph and Australia

What’s been stopping the traffic?
Helen Ennis, director, Centre for Art History and Art Theory, Australian National University School of Art

Modern and contemporary Korean photography: North and south
Keum Hyun Han, independent curator and chief researcher, Asian Culture Information Agency, Asian Cultural Complex, Gwangju


Frontier vignettes: the legacy of Tommy McRae
Jonathan Jones, Kamilaroi/Wiradjuri artist

Image trafficking and containerisation
Helen Grace, research associate, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, The University of Sydney and Sydney College of the Arts

Double displacement: photography and its ghosts
Geoffrey Batchen, professor, School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington

Panel discussion
Chaired by Donna West Brett, Power Institute for Art and Visual Culture, The University of Sydney

Image: Unknown photographer Australian scenery, Middle Harbour, Port Jackson c1865 (detail) carte de visite, 5.8 × 8.6 cm, Art Gallery of NSW, gift of Josef & Jeanne Lebovic, Sydney 2014

Saturday 18 April 2015, 9am

Non-member $65
Member/concession $50
Full-time student $30

Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878


Cost includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon drinks

Duration 7 hours, 30 minutes
Location: Domain Theatre

Related exhibition: The photograph and Australia

Co-presented with University of Sydney, The Power Institute