London, United Kingdom

Perceptions of Truth in Photography

online course
when 28 April 2021 - 2 June 2021
language English
duration 5 weeks
fee GBP 195

Developed in association with Barbican, this six-week online evening course at Guildhall School of Music & Drama will provide you with an introduction to the history of photography, focusing on the idea of the medium’s ‘truth’.

Spanning photography’s origins in the nineteenth century to the present day, the course will present a range of examples that challenge photography’s perceived inherent truth. Discover early manipulation techniques, staged scenes, and faked imagery, from fairies to phantoms. Learn through illustrated lectures featuring works by a range of artists, including Roger Fenton, Dorothy Wilding, Carrie Mae Weems, Henry Peach Robinson, Brook Andrew, Jo Spence, Iñaki Bonillas, Hans Eijkelboom, Dorothea Lange, among many others.

Ages 18+
Wednesday evenings on 28 April, 5, 12, 19, 26 May and 2 June 2021

Course leader

Catlin Langford is the inaugural Curatorial Fellow in Photography, supported by the Bern Schwartz Family Foundation at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She was previously Assistant Curator at the Royal Collection Trust, specialising in C19th photography.

Target group

- Anyone aged 18 and over with an interest in photography who wants to learn more about its history, or to improve existing knowledge of the medium.
- No previous knowledge is required.

Course aim

The course aims to encourage a greater critical engagement with the photographic image. Each session will consist of a lecture followed by informal discussion.

You can expect to:

- Learn about manipulation techniques employed by photographers in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
- Engage with the historical and contemporary use of photography to create and adapt portraits.
- Discover the use of staging in documentary and consciously artistic photographs.
- Understand the use of photography for propaganda purposes, ranging from colonial ideologies to Cold War politics.
- Consider the importance of accessible photographic technologies as a means of historical record.
- Reflect on the importance of framing and interpretation in shaping understandings of the photographic image.
- Develop a greater understanding of different mediums, from the daguerreotype to the gelatin silver ‘snapshot’.
- There will be an optional task in the final session to select and share a work, or collection of works, that speak to your understanding of ‘Photography and Truth’.

At the end of the course, you can expect to have developed a deeper understanding of the history of photography and should feel confident to critically engage with historical and contemporary photographic images.

Fee info

GBP 195: £195