Photography as Model?

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 9:00am to 6:00pm

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute's Research and Academic Program will host a symposium convened by Matthew Witkovsky, Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. This symposium will reflect on the current models available for discussing photographs as art.

The move from analog to digital imaging has prompted an avowed crisis in the study, display, and marketing of photography as art. Some twenty years after its initial popularization, digital photography is widely received in art-institutional circles as either the death or the rebirth of "classic" photographic practice. At this juncture it seems important to reflect on the models we currently have for discussing photographs as art. The time is also propitious for investigating how photographs model or have shaped discussions of modern and contemporary art in general. Drawing inspiration from Yve-Alain Bois's Painting as Model (1990), we would like to argue that photography is neither dead nor does it have a single or singular life. The continuing vitality of photography depends upon changing and shifting its organizing principles, rules that permit us to analyze as well the conventions framing our own particular historical situation.

Participants include: Iliana Cepero Amador, Stanford University; George Baker, University of California, Los Angeles; François Brunet, Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7; Moyra Davey, New York; Georges Didi-Huberman, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris; Maria Gough, Harvard University; and Kaja Silverman, University of Pennsylvania

This event will be held at the Arts Club of Chicago, 201 East Ontario Street, Chicago, IL, 60611. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to: