Curating Photography

In 2017 a Montreal photographer Monic Richard had her work displayed in the city bus shelters. She created 15 portraits of inspiring Montrealers and her work has been on display in approximately 200 bus shelters all over the city. 

“I wanted to be where people are and occupy the public space. Artists are attracted to that which is unconventional, and for me, bus shelters are part of Montreal’s street furniture as well as an unconventional medium for art.” – Monic Richard

As a photographer, I don’t only make photograph and collect images, I also have to consider a way to present them. This week’s activities made me think closer of the relation of my current practice and the ways I can present my work.

I photograph sports, people and their events/activities. I have to consider my subjects. While I have a vision for my projects, my clients come with their own ideas and we have to find a common ground.

Happiness – Joanna Kurowski

When it comes to curating my work, I often ask myself about the following aspects:

  • Who am I addressing my work to? Who is my audience?
  • Why this audience? I like to list pros and cons
  • Who else could benefit from seeing my work?

Once I establish who my audience is I think how I can presenting my work. Given that my practice includes sports photography, personal events, such as weddings, proms, headshots and landscape photography, I have to consider different avenues to display different work.

With regards to sports photography, social media has been one of my avenues. I include images of the events and the club (London Beefeaters Football) uses them to promote the team’s activities.

Personal events are a bit different as most clients don’t like the spotlight in the social media. For some work I use my website to present some of my images.

I also had discussions with a gallery curator about displaying some of my landscape work. Very initial discussions, but they made me realize that while the work is mine, the curator has a lot of influence in making this project a successful one. This is a very close collaborative effort.

The most importance for me is to have a connection with the curator that leads us in the same direction. I understand that the experience we both have, is different, yet, with the same goal in mind (a successful presentation of my work), we have to have the same vision with regards to the images to accomplish this goal.

I would like to gain more knowledge how curating works and what drives the decision making for image selection and the way they get presented. I think a collaboration with a curator is a great way to influence my creativity and look at images from the perspective of the audience.

Considering various methods of presenting my work made me realize that the way I currently work is evolving. I noticed that when I make photographs, I don’t just focus on the images, but I instantly think about their format, presentation, mediums I could use to compose them into projects. This makes me think about my work in broader aspects.


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