AboutProfessor Sue Malvern will give a talk examining the problematic role of war photographers and artists as witnesses to conflicts and the responsibilities of audiences viewing the works they produce.
The video artist Hito Steyerl has discussed how modern documentary practices operate under the principle of uncertainty in ways that are highly specific to the historical moment in which they are made. Conventionally, documentary photographs and films were constructed in order to guarantee the veracity of their claims to truth. However, given the anxieties and precariousness generated by a globalised economy and its media systems, alongside the dependency of modern populations on remote events over which they have little or no control, doubt has become the habitual mode for how audiences receive documentary evidence presented in the mass media. In the context of the exhibition of Tim Hetherington's work, Professor Malvern will ask whether visual work about war might be thought about less in terms of whether it is adequate for the vicarious insights we, the viewers, think it ought to give us, and much more in terms of how it functions for shifting audiences and different contexts.
Sue Malvern is Associate Professor of the History of Art at the University of Reading. She is the author of Modern Art, Britain and the Great War, Witnessing, Testimony and Remembrance.
The talk is FREE however booking is required as places are limited. To book your ticket either proceed online to the check- out (www.openeye.org.uk) or call the gallery on 0151 236 6768