In Praise of Visual Literacy


A lecture by Urs Stahel, followed by a conversation with Ilit Azoulay
Thursday, April 11 at 8 pm

Since 2012, more photographs have been made each year than in the entire history of photography, which spans some 170 years. An almost inconceivable mass of technically produced images are shot, filtered, uploaded, liked, shared, and deleted on social media platforms at incredible speed. Studies indicate that communication between young people today consists to a large extent of images posted on apps and websites. These images, particularly those that are electronically produced and disseminated, are becoming the new vernacular. Umberto Eco had predicted two decades ago that we were entering a new emblematic age of visual communication involving photographs and electronic images. Against this backdrop, Urs Stahel will unpack elementary questions about the role of the image today, including: How do we perceive photography? How do we present it? What is a photograph and how does it function? What effect can it have on us? And how, in a world so complex, are we able to be photo literate?

About the Speaker
Urs Stahel
is a writer, curator, lecturer, and consultant. He is currently curator of MAST (Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia) in Bologna and consultant to the MAST collection of industrial photography, visiting fellow of the University of Arts in London, and an adviser to the art collection of Vontobel in Switzerland. In 1993, he co-founded the Fotomuseum Winterthur, which he directed for 20 years. He is the author and editor of numerous books including monographs and exhibition catalogues on the work of Lewis Baltz, Rineke Dijkstra, David Goldblatt, Paul Graham, Roni Horn, Zoe Leonard, Boris Mikhailov, Thomas Ruff, Shirana Shahbazi, Dayanita Singh, Ai Weiwei, and Sharon Ya’ari.

This event is being held as part of a series of public programs organized in conjunction with the exhibition “Ilit Azoulay: Regarding Silences”.

*The lecture will be held in English and it is supported by Pro Helvetia and the Embassy of Switzerland in Israel.

Entrance: 10 NIS
Number of seats are limited, tickets required.