WORKSHOP: Aaron Schuman – Image, Text & Powers of Observation
March 11 @ 10:00 - March 12 @ 18:00€350
“At present I am preoccupied with sense-impressions…In putting my powers of observation to the test, I have found a new interest in life. How far will my scientific and general knowledge take me? Can I learn to look at things with clear, fresh eyes? How much can I take in at a single glance? Can the grooves of old mental habits be effaced? This is what I am trying to discover.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey, 1786-1788
This two-day workshop with photographer, writer and curator Aaron Schuman, will explore the relationship between photography, texts, inspiration and observation. It will consider how literature, ephemera, various histories (photographic, personal and otherwise), conversations, intuition, imagination, coincidence and spontaneity can inform and inspire the development of photographic projects, and fuel the creative process. This will help participants consider and connect more deeply with their own creative practice – and more specifically, to their own creative process – and to consider their own work and projects in relation to their own experience, the notion of expansive research, and the possibilities of expanded contexts.
The workshop will include two mornings of lectures – in the first, Schuman will discuss his most recent monograph Sonata, and its influences and development; in the second he will discuss the image-text relationship within his wider practice.
The afternoons will be devoted to reviewing the participants’ work within a class setting – each participant with have the opportunity to share his/her own work, research and inspirations. Schuman, along with the entire group, will provide feedback and advice, helping to define and strengthen each practice, with the aim of identifying and clarifying each participant’s unique process, vision, purpose and powers of observation.
AARON SCHUMAN is an American photographer, writer, educator and curator based in the United Kingdom. He is the author of several critically-acclaimed monographs, including Sonata (MACK, 2022), Slant (MACK, 2019) and Folk (NB Books, 2016) – which have been cited regularly by numerous photographers, critics and publications in annual “Best Photobooks of the Year” lists and reviews, including The Guardian, TIME, Internazionale, The New York Times, American Suburb X, Photoeye, Photobookstore Magazine, and Deadbeat Club Press, and have been longlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
In addition to his own photographic work, Schuman has contributed texts and images to many books including Matteo di Giovanni: I Had To Shed My Skin (2022), OK: No Response (2022), Photo No-Nos: Meditations on What Not to Shoot (2021), Aperture Conversations: 1985 to the Present (2018), Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins (2018), Alec Soth: Gathered Leaves (2015), and The Photographer’s Playbook (2014), amongst many others; he also regularly contributes to magazines such as Aperture, Foam, Frieze, TIME, Hotshoe, Magnum Online, The British Journal of Photography and more. Furthermore, Schuman has served as Curator for festivals such as Krakow Photomonth, JaipurPhoto Festival and FotoFest Biennial, and has curated several major exhibitions for museums and institutions including the Royal Photographic Society, FOMU – Fotomuseum Antwerp, and the Houston Center of Photography. Schuman was the founder and editor of SeeSaw Magazine (2004-2014), and is Associate Professor of Photography & Visual Culture and Programme Leader of MA Photography at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).
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