“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

John Thomson: Reframing Materials, Images, and Archives 1 Day Conference – SOAS – 7/6/18

Posted: April 22nd, 2018 | No Comments »

John Thomson: Reframing Materials, Images, and Archives

Wellcome Trust Gibbs Building, Euston Road, London

7/6/18 – 9am-5pm

John Thomson’s (1837-1921) large surviving archive has helped to secure his place in the canon of British photography. The archive includes some 600 negatives at the Wellcome collection, as well as an extensive list of published works, surviving glass-plate negatives, cartes de visites, and album prints. With the archive generating interest in Thomson’s photographs as historical and cultural documents, discourse on Thomson’s work remains largely tied to the perceived indexical values of his photographs. This Study Day aims to expand approaches to this unique body of work.

This event is organised in conjunction with the 2018 exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS (April-June 2018), Through the Lens of John Thomson 1868-1872: China, Siam and Angkor.

Academics, curators and practitioners will present research and engage in discussion around four specific key themes: The Interrelation and Interaction of Making, Translating and Transforming Images into Objects, Reading and Reframing of Images – Issues of the Archive, and Constructing and Conceptualising East and Southeast Asia. As such, this Study Day will provide an opportunity to contextualise and stimulate new research questions around the materiality and visuality of photography. These discussions also have wider implications within the scholarship of photography across the fields of Art History, Anthropology, Visual and Material Cultures, History, Architecture and Dress History

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