'Off The Shelf' Grad Talks - 1pm daily
From Monday 5th July - Friday 9th July

Off The Shelf Grad Talks: an open discussion on theoretical questions to shake the dust out of graduate’s thesis, co-ordinated by Donna Kiernan on the back of The Thing That Bruises You.

The Back Loft in conjunction with PhotoIreland Festival are holding a series of talks based on the thesis arguments of recent graduates. Through an informal series of lunch time talks held in The Back Loft -see map- we will discuss questions raised by a selection of graduate theses in an open floor debate held by the graduates themselves.

Schedule of topics

Monday 5th July - 1pm

Aidan Kelly-Murphy presents 20th Century Toys: The rise, cultural development and parallel exploration of photography and gender studies
Aidan Kelly - Murphy looks at how a build up of gender ideas, in science and social studies, from the previous two millennia exploded in the pop art scene of the 1960’s and greatly accelerated in each decade that followed. Photography played a crucial part within this exploration and the two mediums of photography and gender intertwined with each other and pushed their outputs to new artistic peaks and to societal recognition.

Tuesday 6th July - 1pm

Leonie Tang presents The Archive: History and Memory
Leonie Tang investigates the role of the archive in the representation of public and personal memory while examining the contradictory discourses that surround the veracity of the photographic document. Her talk highlights key histories relevant to the development of the functions of the archive within a historical and social context. Drawing on contemporary practitioners works to explore these concepts of individual and public memory, Leonie attempts to negate notions of a ‘universal history’ and ‘photographic truth’.

Wednesday 7th July - 1pm

Donna Kiernan presents The Photographic Competition: Excelling at mediocrity
Donna Kiernan examines the way in which photographic competitions impact the natural evolution of photography. With more and more prize winning photographs being called into question, Donna asks are these competitions really pushing photographers to excel are or are we simply taking the photos with the best chance of winning the prize. Using the National Portrait Gallery’s Annual photographic portrait competition as a case study she asks can we identify this trend and considers how it may have come into being. Does the responsibility lie with the photographers, the institutions or the even the audience?

Thursday 8th July - 1pm

Steven Nestor presents The Fog of Photography
Steven Nestor investigates the rapport between conflict photography and its ability to represent the truth behind the image. Building on the works of influential writers engaged with photography in both a wider context and that of conflict photography, Steven explores the nature of the printed image through semiotics, the historical context and practical usage of the photograph. Focusing on the contested site and evolving position of the image in two major latter 20th century conflicts: Vietnam and the First Gulf War and by engaging with publications like Newsweek and Time Magazine as well as the iconic image in conflict, Steven highlights the contested veracity of the image, showing it to be a rather than the truth.

Friday 9th July - 1pm

Jacki Hehir presents Photography And The Archive will be examining photography’s role as archive and questioning whether or not it offers itself as a truthful form of representation. She will be looking at the currency of the photograph, the messages that may be transmitted by them and how they are housed within the archive.

Curated by Donna Kiernan

For more info contact