Wednesday, February 20, 2008

np - Richard Billingham Lecture

A lecture delivered by Richard Billingham to my college for the Foundation students rounded of a fantastic cultural week spent with Halesowen College (on return from a London field trip)

The jury's still out on Richard's practice, having said that he came to speak to perspective students (representing Cheltenham & Glos Uni where he is BA photography fine art tutor) so he was invited, and as such I shouldn't critique his work. But listening to him talk about his dysfunctional parents and the recent Zoo images. He remains detached, focused on the image , not the subject, he won't be drawn into debate about welfare state or repetitive behavior in zoo animals. But who can blame him? I'll have to think about this further?

Interestingly we had a John Robert's lecture on post-modernism and as a choice of final slides John jumped from the 80's to 1994 and a billingham plate of his dad in a dirty toilet. Horror and fear of post-modernity?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just happened upon your blog regarding Richard Billingham. I was curious if you found his lecture useful or informative at all in respect of photography itself. From several unrelated people I've spoken to who've attended lectures he's given in the past, he's openly dismissed photography as a medium (knowingly speaking to large groups of the professional and academic photographic community as well as this being prior his appointment as lecturer in Fine Art Photography at Gloucestershire Uni). I get the impression from these conversations the man will have to prove himself if he wants to be taken seriously as a photographer rather than as an artist who uses photography. He probably doesn't care or seek out the fawning respect of either community (as he shouldn't) in terms of producing the work he wants, but I know he has at least a few people left to convince.

Personally, I think 'Ray's a Laugh' is amazing, I have yet to see 'Zoo', but this was over 10 years ago and some begin to wonder whether this will carry him and his future work.