Category : Section 3 – The Photographic Industry

The Photography Industry – Initial Thoughts

Whilst I can understand the need for a wider understanding of the photographic industry for a degree course I find the third assignment to be a slightly discordant exercise as if the module had been shoe-horned into the same structure as the other modules.

The two choices for this assignment are to either spend some time on a work placement that is relevant to the industry or to write a 2,000 word analytical text that discusses a particular role. At the moment I don’t think that I can commit to a work placement simply because I will be doing to much travelling over the next few months and would find it impossible to commit my time to anything and it would be extremely unfair and unprofessional to approach a placement with that attitude. As a result I’ll be writing an analytical text.

The subject or the role that I’ll be researching is, for me, a fairly obvious choice since I found the role of curator very interesting when I was doing the Contextual Studies module so I’ll be building on the research that I did for that module together with some primary research in the way of interviews.

Curator noun /kjʊˈreɪ.tər/ – person in charge of a museum, library, etc.

Obviously the term “curator” can involve many entities such as museums, libraries, art galleries as well as photography exhibitions but I’ll be looking, primarily, at the latter.

An early part of my Contextual Studies essay concerned John Ruskin, the Victorian art critic, who created a museum at Walkley, near Sheffield, to educate his workers. His aim in curating this museum was bring experience of cultures to those who were unable to travel and experience them for themselves. In this he ‘was dedicated to widening social access to cultural experience’ (Hanley & Walton, 2010:19)

As the essay developed I arrived at modern curators who curated multi-dimensional events involving light, music, video, dance as well as photography, sometimes inextricable linked to the Internet. Indeed PostInternet was a term reputedly first coined by the artist Marisa Olson to describe how artwork and other entities now transcends the internet, developing an existence across all media. With no formal definition and no ‘school’ associated with it, it has many critics but it has relevance to the issues to be addressed here, illustrating the issues involved in the overlap or integration of the virtual tourist with the corporeal tourist.

The aim of my Assignment 3 essay will be look at how the modern role of a photography curator is perceived today given the huge disparity between Ruskin’s view and Olson’s.


Hanley, K., and Walton, J. K.,2010, Constructing Cultural Tourism: John Ruskin and the Tourist Gaze, Bristol, Buffalo and Toronto: Channel View Publications.

Olson, M., (date unknown) Postinternet Foam, avaliable online at https://www.academia.edu/24570104/POSTINTERNET_FOAM_MARISA_OLSEN_ Accessed 22/08/2016