Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

How can we exhibit photography in the age of the smartphone?

Home / More / News / How can we exhibit photography in the age of the smartphone?

Published on 28 March 2024

How can we exhibit photography in the age of the smartphone?
How can we exhibit photography in the age of the smartphone?

Almost everyone in the world now has a sophisticated camera in their pocket, thanks to smartphones – but how can museums and art galleries collect and display visual culture in the 21st century?

Academics from the University of Sunderland are leading a new international initiative with experts in art history, photography, visual culture, and curation to find new ways of collecting and exhibiting photography in museums and art galleries.

The initiative is supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council award.  

Dr Alexandra Moschovi, Professor of Photography and Curating at the University of Sunderland, will lead the project in collaboration with Dr Iro Katsaridou, Director of the MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography in Greece, and Matteo Balduzzi, Senior Photography Curator of Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea in Cinisello Balsamo in Italy.

Dr Moschovi said: “I am delighted to have received this award. It affords the Northern Centre of Photography a unique opportunity to bring together scholars, artists, and museum workers from a variety of art and photography institutions. We will discuss diverse museum policies and practices as well as practical problems and questions around collecting and exhibiting photographic images. In an era when we are all photographers this has become particularly urgent.”

Through online workshops and an international conference, the initiative hopes to establish a best-practice framework for museum photography.

Professor Arabella Plouviez, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland, said: “Building this network across different practitioners, researchers and curators provides an exciting opportunity to explore photography and understand it in new ways.

“The ubiquitous nature of the photograph belies its complexity, and this bringing together of international expertise provides an exciting opportunity to get beneath the surface and explore of some of that complexity.”

Amanda Ritson is Programme Manager for NEPN (North East Photography Network). She added, “The North East Photography Network is honoured to be a partner in this project which brings together photographers, curators, gallery and museum professional peers across the globe to discuss practice, the changing landscape of opportunity for photographers and engagement with audiences.”

Dr Iro Katsaridou said: “For MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, the only national institution in Greece exclusively dedicated to the photographic medium, it is a great honour to be a partner in this transnational research network project, which truly crosses different disciplines, and connects academics, museum professionals, and artists. I am excited to work with this transnational team elaborating on shared experiences and exchanging ideas on contemporary museum practices regarding curating and collecting photography.’

Matteo Balduzzi said: “The Museum of Contemporary Photography is the first and only public museum dedicated to photography and the technological image in Italy. Situated in a peripheral area of the Milan metropolitan area, over the years - along with its research, cataloguing and heritage conservation activities - it has proposed exhibitions and collaborations in various places in Italy and at the same time it has devised projects capable of engaging with the environment and the communities of Cinisello Balsamo.

“We are honoured to be part of this international network and we are happy to share our experience in a process of dialogue and exchange that is becoming increasingly fundamental for the culture of photography and images.”

For more information and to register for upcoming events go to: https://northeastphoto.net/project/museum-dialogues/

For more information on studying Photography, Video and Digital Imaging at the University of Sunderland, visit: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/art-design/undergraduate-photography-video-digital-imaging/