FRAGMENTS TOWARDS A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY with Bil Brown – Online – November 14-15, 2020
Following the history of photography is a secret cultural history. The photographer both captures and inspires histories of their own. In this practicum workshop/lecture, we will deliver the key perspectives of the purveyors of photography as cultural workers. This is not just a course on photographic history but also diving into the mindsets & influences of some of the great artists of the past. Published photographer Bil Brown will cover the luminous details of individual photographers as authors of their own perspective within the vast and varied history of the little 35mm camera created by Oscar Barnak in the 20th century.
Photography is not painting, but painters have inspired it. Photography is not literature, but we tell stories and talk of a visual language. A relatively new art form in the history of the world, that relies on technology like few other art forms, the history of photography is a cultural history of humanity in motion, captured in an instant and held forever. We will talk of the key ideas and personas in the history of the photographic medium that relate to the present and future of photography. This intensive three hour, two day weekend practicum-style course will introduce specific concepts that relate to the art of photography, where it came from and where it is going.
Filling in the blanks from surrealism, objectivist and today’s aesthetic position of photographers subjectivity, Bil will cover some of the household names of Leica such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mary Ellen Mark, and Gordon Parks. He will also discuss other masters of photography, but also his personal relationship in anecdotes to photographers like Antonie D’Agata and William Eggleston. The course will also take a deep look at the various movements from not just street photography, but portrait, and fashion that owe thanks to the invention of the Leica and its history. Using the 2014 book, ”EYES WIDE OPEN: 100 Years of Leica Photography” as a jumping off point for the class, Bil will cover deeper points and other artists to inspire attendees.
- The influence of 35mm & emerging technologies
- Discovering photographers & styles of influence
- Backstories & discussions of photographers not necessarily written in books
- Key ideas and personas in the history of the photographic medium that relate to the present and future of photography.
- Photographic movements of the past, and where we are today, and a discussion of where photography is going?
Schedule & Format:
SATURDAY: (10AM – 1:15PM) (Pacific Time)
PART I: Brown will take us into the early 20th Century,1900-1950.The Idea of Photography & Photographer as Author
PART II: The Street & The Studio: Photographers of War
SUNDAY: (10AM – 1:15PM) (Pacific Time)
PART III: The Opening of The Field: 1950-Present
PART IV: The Photographer & The Spectacle
This will be a 2-Day workshop set for 3 hours per day, in a practicum-style course, which will introduce specific concepts that relate to the art of photography, where it came from and where it is going. Class will break for 15 minutes in the middle of each day.
Who should take this workshop?
This workshop is designed for not just photographers, but photography collectors, photo enthusiasts, and people who just love history and want to be inspired by the past, and the influences that inspired the masters themselves. Those whom only know of the few “popular” photographers and want to know more about them on a deeper level, and discover new photographers, will also benefit from attending.
Class Size: 25 Max
Bil Brown is a Los Angeles based photographer, cinematographer, director, writer and poet. He has been obsessed with the scholarly pursuit of finding his own place within the history & art of photography in the context of ongoing cultural work. Starting in the early 90s when he was introduced to photographer Robert Frank by his then teacher poet Allen Ginsberg. Always exploring Brown continued; to chance meetings with Daido Moriyama in Japan, and further study with Magnum Photographers Bruce Gilden, Antoine D’Agata and the late Mary Ellen Mark he continued that pursuit with primary sources. Bil has spent the day with William Eggleston, spoke at length with David Allen Harvey on the idea of “photographer as author”, and explored the galleries of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Paris, Prague, New York, Milan, Stokholm, and other metropolises searching for the spark that creates the “photographic eye”.
Brown received his MFA in poetics from Naropa University in 1994, and received grants from the NEA and Arts International, started a school of international arts education in Prague. He photography has been published internationally and is a contributing photographer to Purple Magazine, FLAUNT, Paper, Autre, featured in LFI, The Leica Blog, S-Magazine and many more. In 2018, Brown displayed his latest show, “From Protest to Performance: New Work 2016-2018” in Los Angeles at The Leica Gallery, where his show hung along-side the legendary Jim Marshall. The show was heralded by Apparel News as “Unafraid of current history, [Brown’s] images bring us all into a world that leaves us wondering, “What’s next?”
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