Conversation with Paul Wombell
Thursday, September 12th, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
At SBC Gallery
In collaboration with Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal
R.S.V.P. for this event here. Limited seating.
Within the context of Trevor Paglen’s exhibition at the SBC Gallery, Paul Wombell, guest curator for the Mois de la Photo à Montréal 2013, will be at the gallery on September 12th for a conversation on the artist’s work.
Paul Wombell will discuss Trevor Paglen’s work in relationship to the history of American photography and more recent work from the 1980s, while addressing the fields of geography and history of the military landscape, specifically in relation to Paglen’s concept of "experimental geography."
For the 13th edition of the Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Paul Wombell proposed the theme Drone: The Automated Image as the starting point for a program of exhibitions, a publication, a symposium and a series of activities.
“Drones extend the capabilities of the body in the act of looking. The eye has a fixed position on the human body, has limited vision over long distances, and does not work well in reduced lighting conditions. Drones can travel to difficult and remote locations, they can see at all times even in limited light. They can be controlled remotely and be operated from a distance; they can function automatically, have artificial sensing, and also convey a sense that they have an intent or agency of their own. Drones are the robots of seeing. Over the last 40 years the camera has taken on some of the same characteristics of the drone, even to the extent that the camera now has a life of its own and functions more like a computer. There is no need to look through the viewfinder because all the calculations for exposure and focus are automatically completed. You can set the camera to take photographs without the need to be behind the camera. With motion detectors, remote controls, CCTV, webcams, Google Street View, and the development of robotics, the camera can function without human involvement.
Drone: The Automated Image is a project charting the changing relationship between the camera and the human body. It will look at how photographers and artists are choosing to use the automatic devices of the camera in its many different forms in the production of their work.”
Paul Wombell is an independent curator and writer on photography living in London (U.K.). He has been the Director of Impressions Gallery, York (1986–94), Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, London (1994–2005) and Festival Director of the Hereford Photography Festival (2006–07). Since 2007 he has curated exhibitions for the annual photographic festival PhotoEspaña in Madrid and for FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma. Most recently, he organized the one-person exhibition Calves and Thighs: Juergen Teller (2010) and the group exhibition Bumpy Ride: the Prophecies of Photography (2010). He regularly writes for international photographic publications. He has edited eight books on photography, the most recent being End Times: Jill Greenberg (TF Editores/D.A.P., 2012), and The 70s: Photography and Everyday Life (La Fábrica, 2009) co-edited with Sergio Mah.