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    Conflict-photography-exhibition: curating conflict photographs in British art and history museums, 2010-20

    Silvey, Tamsin Elizabeth (2023) Conflict-photography-exhibition: curating conflict photographs in British art and history museums, 2010-20. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

    Tamsin Silvey PhD Thesis Conflict-Photography-Exhibition Vol 1 Texts amended.pdf - Full Version

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    Tamsin Silvey PhD Thesis Conflict-Photography-Exhibition Vol 2 Figures and Appendices FINAL.pdf - Full Version

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    Since 9/11 and the US’s response with the ‘War on Terror’, conflict photographs have appeared in a significant number of temporary exhibitions within both art and history museums in Britain and further afield. The number of conflict photographs exhibited within art galleries has increased in relation to the demise of traditional news-media outlets and a turn towards new documentary modes made for art spaces. Simultaneously, a trend in history museums of using photographs in more critical, less simply illustrative ways, reflects a memory turn to create sites for multivocal accounts of conflict. The multiple instances of art and history institutions programming exhibitions of conflict photographs highlight the heightened responsibility of curators in the public understanding of conflict as museums become increasingly trusted public spheres. This PhD interrogates how conflict photographs have been curated within temporary exhibitions at British museums, focussing on exhibitions produced by Tate and Imperial War Museums, 2010-20. This decade saw concerted investment in photography programming at both museums and coincided with a political policy shift rightwards, culminating in governmental backlash towards cultural actions following Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020. Through six comparative case studies and a series of interviews, this thesis problematises the nexus between these publicly funded art and history institutions by analysing curatorial choices against institutional missions and the political agendas that informed production. To situate these case studies in an international context, exhibitions curated in the United States of America in response to the huge volume of photographs produced by 9/11 is discussed to outline a repertoire of approaches developed throughout the 2000s that this research revealed as reference points for British-based curators operating within a highly networked field of peers.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Additional Information: 2 Volumes: Volume 1: Text, Volume 2: Figures and appendices
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 05 May 2023 14:53
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 16:09


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