Past Lectures

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Lecture by Alec Soth
November 29, 2011 / Doors Open at 6:30pm / Lecture from 7-9pm
Phyllis Wattis Theater, SFMOMA

Alec Soth's work is rooted in the distinctly American tradition of 'on-the-road photography' developed by Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Stephen Shore. He has received fellowships from the McKnight, Bush, and Jerome Foundations and was the recipient of the 2003 Santa Fe Prize for Photography. His photographs are represented in major public and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Walker Art Center. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial and a career survey at the Jeu de Paume in 2008.

His first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, was published by Steidl in 2004 to critical acclaim. Since then Soth has published NIAGARA (Steidl, 2006), Fashion Magazine (Magnum, 2007), and Dog Days, Bogotá (Steidl, 2007). He is represented by the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York and the Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis.

Alec Soth:




Lecture by Cuny Janssen
November 16, 2011 / 7pm
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, SF campus
Free and open to the public

Cuny Janssen is an artist based in Amsterdam who works with photography and the photography book as art object. Alluding to a rich history of portraiture, her color images actively engage the portrait as psychological space and philosophical construct. In addition, Janssen often includes landscapes and environmental images that emphasize her attraction to the "resourcefulness of life" in both humans and nature.

Janssen's works have been shown at FOAM, (Amsterdam, Netherlands) The Photographer's Gallery, (London, UK) Paris Photo, (Paris, France) as well as many other international galleries and institutions.

Cuny Janseen:




Lecture by Walid Raad
October 28, 2011 / 7pm
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, SF campus
Free and open to the public

Walid Raad is an artist and an Associate Professor of Art at The Cooper Union in New York City. Raad's works to date include photography, installation, performance, video, and literary essays.

Raad's recent works include The Atlas Group, a fifteen-year project between 1989 and 2004 about the contemporary history of Lebanon, with particular emphasis on the Lebanese wars of 1975-1991.

Walid Raad:

Lecture by Sophie Calle
May 30, 2011 / 7pm
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, San Francisco
Free and open to the public

French conceptual artist Sophie Calle has redefined through personal investigation the terms and parameters of subject/object, the public versus the private, and role-playing. In her conceptual projects, Calle immerses herself in examinations of voyeurism, intimacy, and identity through image, object, and text.


Lecture by Erik Kessels
February 24, 2011/ 7pm
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, San Francisco
Free and open to the public

Erik Kessels is a founding partner and creative director of communications agency KesselsKramer. The company supports finding new ways for brands to tell stories using whatever media is most relevant to their message. He also helped set up KK Outlet, a combined exhibition space, gallery, and communications agency in London.

Kessels is a photography collector and has designed, edited, and published several books of vernacular photography through KesselsKramer Publishing, including the in almost every pictureseries, The Instant Men, and Wonder. Since 2000 he has been an editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful Photography. Kessels has curated exhibitions such as Loving Your Pictures at Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie Arles. He was one of four curators (with Lou Reed, Fred Ritchin, and Vince Aletti) of the New York Photo Festival 2010, where he presented the exhibition Use me Abuse me.

Lecture by Paul Graham
February 8, 2011 / 7pm
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, San Francisco
Free and open to the public

Paul Graham, of the United Kingdom, belongs to a group of photographers born in the 1950s that formed the last generation to engage with photographic practice before it became part of the contemporary art world.

Graham was among the first photographers to unite contemporary color practice with the classic genre of "social documentary." In 1981–2 he completed A1—The Great North Road, a series of color photographs from along the length of the British A1 road, which had a transformative effect on the black-and-white tradition that had dominated British art photography to that point.

Graham's work distinguishes itself by retaining a firm and full commitment to life as it unfolds—to an understanding that at its core photography begins with an unblinking engagement with the world.

Embracing this crucial axiom of photography, Graham's work affirms this central area of photographic practice by expanding its visual language, and questioning what such photography could say, be, or look like.