Bergstein Presents Paper at “The Jewish Engagement with Photography” Conference
Mary Bergstein (Professor, History of Art + Visual Culture) presented a paper, “Johann Schwarzer’s Saturn Films” at a conference entitled “The Jewish Engagement with Photography,” in Osnabrück, Germany. The symposium took place November 29-30, sponsored by Research Centre for Photography and the Media, University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld, and the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London.
The powerful Jewish engagement with photography has been felt in numerous photographic positions and theoretical reflections. This fact has remained largely neglected in the research on the effectivity of photography. It is not only due to historical interest that the conference placed its focus on those impulses from the Jewish tradition which – so the thesis – have also turned out to be especially productive for the visual discourse of the present; even more important was the aim to gain insights for the direction of contemporary photography. The question in the focus of the conference was therefore how the Jewish culture, which is oriented towards writing, can be connected to photographic image production. The aim of interpretative approaches from visual culture studies, theology, psychology and philosophy is on the one hand to expand the reflective space for this medium, which is used as an artistic as well as an everyday practical medium, and on the other hand to give new impulses for its creative direction.
The University of Applied Sciences, founded in 1971, offers a variety of courses in the fields of engineering, business, design and health care. The Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL aims to research and teach all areas of Jewish Studies, from antiquity to modernity, using a variety of disciplinary approaches, historical, literary and linguistic.