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Introduction to Contemporary Photography Short Course

Introduction to Contemporary Photography Short Course

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Magali Avezou


This course will introduce participants to photography in the context of contemporary visual culture. They will be presented with key concepts; they will explore current debates and be encouraged to develop a critical approach to reading and making images. This process will aim at helping them expand their own practice and experiment new strategies.

Over 5 sessions, students will be introduced to the main concepts, topics and orientations at stake in this field since 50 years such as image, representation and the gaze; documenting, manipulating and deconstructing the real; conceptual strategies in image making; the intimate, the body and women; expanded photography in relation to other medium. Starting with post-modernism and artists such as Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman, our aim will not be to look at reality “through the lens” but to deconstruct the gaze in looking at reality. Changes related to technical evolution and the visual in the digital age will be central to our enquiry. The course will give the participants an overview on current art photography, while inviting them to reflect on the pivotal role of images in contemporary society.

Sessions will be divided in two: mornings will be dedicated to lectures and comments while in the afternoons; students will discuss their own projects in-group tutorials. The 5 weeks duration will allow to develop ideas fed by each session and to produce a new body of work. The lectures and collaborative process will lead students to adopt a critical approach to their work and articulate a discourse around their own practice.

Topics covered:

  • Contemporary Photography
  • Conceptual Photography
  • Critical thinking
  • Research skills
  • Methodology

Who should take this course?

Photographers wishing to deepen their understanding of contemporary photography and visual culture, develop a critical approach to image reading and achieve a method towards developing a visual project.

Entry requirements: Basic understanding of photography and interest in artistic approaches.

Level: Beginners and Intermediate


Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Magali Avezou is an independent curator and founder of a r c h i p e l a g o, a curatorial studio focusing on visual culture. In her projects, she looks at contemporary visual culture and explores the intersection between photography and other medium such as installations, videos, web… with a particular emphasis on printed matters.

Magali graduated in Photography from Central Saint Martins (PgCert) and London College of Communication (MA). She is an Associate Lecturer at IED (Italy) and London College of Communication (UK), and has given lectures and workshops at Royal College of Arts (UK), Southampton University (UK), Escola Massana (Spain) and Instituto Marangoni (It) among others.

Available dates