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Unshowable Photographs

An audio recording from the panel discussion “Unshowable Photographs” at TPW R&D on September 20, 2012.

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Please join us for the first public presentation in the “Coming to Encounter” series of discursive events, and the launch of the new Gallery TPW R&D space.

Unshowable Photographs
Panel Discussion
Thursday, September 20, 2012
TPW R&D
7:00 pm

David Campbell, Donald Weber, Sharon Sliwinski

Moderated by Gabrielle Moser

Working from Ariella Azoulay’s notion of the event of photography, and Susan Meiselas’s writing about untaken and unshowable photographs, this panel discussion asks respondents to discuss images that are difficult to show, have been withheld, or which we know exist but do not circulate. Panelists will be asked to speak about an untaken or unshowable photograph, to think about why these images are difficult to present and to ask what is at stake in designating an image as “unshowable.”

This event is part of “Coming to Encounter,” a series of discursive programs organized by TPW curator in residence Gabrielle Moser that examines the aesthetic strategies employed by artists and photographers to prepare viewers for an encounter with difficult knowledge. As part of the 2012/13 TPW R&D project, “Coming to Encounter” aims to elaborate on conversations about photography and difficult knowledge that have taken place at Gallery TPW over the past several years.

David Campbell is a writer and producer, specialising in photography, multimedia and politics. He writes regularly on his blog at www.david-campbell.org, which was named one of the ten best photoblogs by the British Journal of Photography (July 2011). David is a member of the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies and Honorary Professor of Geography at Durham University, Honorary Professor in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia, and a member of the advisory board for the Program for Narrative and Documentary Studies at Tufts University, Boston, led by Gary Knight. For Spring 2012 he is A. Lindsay O’Connor Professor in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Colgate University, New York.

Donald Weber is an award-winning photographer who began his career as an architect for Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His photographic projects include The Underclass and Its Bosses: Crime & Punishment in Ukraine, which won the Lange-Taylor Documentary Prize; Bastard Eden, Our Chernobyl, which won the photolucida Book Award; The Drunk en Bride, Russia Unveiled, which won a Guggenheim Fellowship; The Drowned City, which won a Canada Council Fellowship; and his forthcoming Interrogations, about post-Soviet authority in Ukraine and Russia. Donald is represented by the photo agency VII Photo.

Sharon Sliwinksi is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western University. Her research interests range across a number of topics, from the intersection of politics and aesthetics, to the genealogy of key concepts in human rights discourse, to more theoretical investigations in psychoanalysis and the terrain of the imaginary. One of the common threads across these fields has been a fascination with photography – with individual photographers, subjects, and images, but also with the medium itself as a means through which humanity can become a community of witnesses to world events. She is the author of Human Rights in Camera (2011) and is currently working on a book called Dream Matters, which is a study of the social and political significance of dream-life.

Photo credit: Don Weber, Interrogations, 2010.

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Gabrielle Moser

Gabrielle Moser is a writer and independent curator. She is currently curator in residence as part of Gallery TPW R&D. She regularly contributes to Artforum.com, and her writing has appeared in venues including ARTnews, Canadian Art, Fillip, n paradoxa, and Photography & Culture. She has curated exhibitions for Access Gallery, Gallery TPW, the Leona Drive Project and Vtape. She is a PhD candidate in art history and visual culture at York University, where she also teaches.

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For more information contact:
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kim [at] gallerytpw.ca