UCS Talks at the V&A

The Art of Collecting Photography, V&A Museum
Part 1 – 4

FYF_EFEZPhotograph by Fiona Yaron-Field


Uncertain States and Zelda Cheatle bring together artists, collectors and curators in a series of talks about the role and artistic importance of the collector and collections within the context of fine art photography. The talks aim to encourage people who love photography that collecting can be a non-elite creative experience open to all. Photography is a superb entry level into the world of collecting art and so can play an important role for anyone, at little cost, who might aspire to start their own art collection. Each talk will introduce us into this engaging subject. Starting with The V&A’s own permanent photography collection, Uncertain States invites artists to highlight ‘their choice’ from recent acquisitions. In the following weeks speakers will explore starting, managing, developing large and small public archives and galleries will discuss their relationships with the work and photographers. These talks will draw attention to our belief that collections – in any form, private or public – offer a unique and important part in the documentation of our culture. These illustrated talks are part of Uncertain States ongoing commitment to extend critical dialogue in photography.


Part 1: The Artist and the Photograph
16 October 2015, V&A Museum, London, 6: 30 pm

Speakers: Susanna Brown, Curator of Photographs at the V&A, Susan Derges, Artist, Joy Gregory, Artist and David Worthington, Artist.

Tickets are free but space is limited so please book a seat


 Part 2: The Collector as Curator
20 November 2015, V&A Museum, London, 6: 30 pm

Tickets are free but space is limited so please book a seat


Part 3: Public Collections, Cultural Documentation
4 December 2015, V&A Museum, London, 6: 30 pm
Tickets are free but space is limited so please book a seat

B0023P 0142
credit: David George

Uncertain States presents writer and lecturer Paul O’Kane who is joined by the artists David George and Karl Ohiri to discuss photography as a tool to reflect longingly and critically on one’s past. The talk will be chaired by the writer Karen Falconer

Contrary to what one might expect with the advances in technology, our fascination with cyberspace and the virtual world, we appear to have increased yearning  for something or sometime past. Nostalgia is considered not only as a longing for the past, but a longing for an idealised past, for a moment that perhaps never actually existed. The talk will consider a view of the individuals and cultural memory which does not pretend to rebuild this mythical place, but dwells in ambivalence and a tells of a narrative that is inconclusive, and fragmentary. The artists individual recollections are intertwined with collective memory offering a view of their history which has removed the nostalgic filters .V&A Museum,  Sackler Centre, seminar room 3,
Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
7th November 2014
Free AdmissionKarl Ohiri (b. 1983, UK) is a British photographer and artist of Nigerian descent based in London. The framework of his practice is situated between two overlapping points of interest: Cultural Studies and The Human Condition. 

Recurring themes include: identity, relationships, public and private boundaries and discourses surrounding death. This is explored through the use of photography, recontextualisation and appropriation, creating two strands of artistic work: Personal works that are often autobiographical in nature and conceptual works primarily based on social commentary.

His work has been exhibited internationally and in various spaces throughout the UK including: The New Art Exchange, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Tate Britain.Paul O’Kane ‘Artist, Writer and Lecturer’ teaching at CSM and Chelsea and SOAS. His PhD was completed in History at Goldsmiths 2009, titled ‘A Hesitation of Things’. Writing regularly for Art Monthly magazine, ‘Where Is That Light Now?’ has just been published by eeodo.David George is one of the three co-founders of Uncertain States. His photographs have appeared in many exhibitions and magazines. Before returning to art photography, he traveled the world taking commercial photographs with acclaimed art critic, Brian Sewell. He has an MA in Photography; and has lectured on the MA course at London Metropolitan University.Karen Falconer is a writer and journalist interested in the arts and psychology. She has written for many national newspapers and magazines, edited a fashion magazine and is a former member of the British Fashion Council. She also writes short stories and life stories; taught creative writing at the Groucho Club; and has Masters in Psychology, and in French and Linguistics.