ART548 MFA Graduate Seminar in Photography: Professional Practicum I, Jacopo Santini, Fall 2019

“The camera is an instrument invented to teach people how to see without a camera”
Dorothea Lange

These seminars serve as an introduction to an in-depth exploration of the professional world of photography. Special emphasis is placed on an analysis of contemporary photography, on its networks and careers ranging from the photo-journalist to the fine arts photographer to the photography instructor. In order to gain a fuller sense of what working in the field of photography means today, students meet with professional photographers, printers, editors, gallery owners, and photography instructors. Emphasis is placed on reading and analyzing texts by photographers and photo-historians and discussing the artistic, documentary, scientific, and commercial potentialities of photography within relevant social, cultural, and political contexts.

Class time will involve lectures and visits to exhibitions, galleries and photographic/art festivals, such as Paris Photo, the Photography Festival of Rome, the Photolux in Lucca, Venice Biennale (every other year), the European Festival in Reggio Emilia, Bologna Arte Fiera, MIA (Milan Image Art Fair), Palazzo della Ragione in Milan, and many others.

Objectives

By the end of the course students will gain a deep and comprehensive knowledge of photography in its historical development up to the current “digital era,” of how it has been affected by and has affected other media and sciences, society and social behaviors and, more generally, the way we see ourselves.

A fundamental goal of the course is an in-depth analysis of photography’s raison d’etre today and the many different issues that stem from such a question. Thanks to the digital revolution the medium is even more available and affordable to the masses than before. Billions of photographs are taken every day, edited, posted, attached, downloaded and uploaded. And the more images are used (and abused) the less people seem to be able to think about the reasons why they continue, sometimes compulsively, to photograph, to “write with light.” Therefore, the unavoidable question is: why do we photograph? Why should we continue to do it? To what purpose? And, finally, will photography survive and, if so, in what form? Studying the past and learning how to be conscious of the present will doubtless help us toward an answer.

Students are required to keep two journals. One in which you will write class notes and keep all handouts. The second will be your creative journal where you will write your personal impressions and analysis about the topics discussed during the seminar. Be as creative and involved as possible.

Field Trips

Field trips in this MFA Seminar are:

  • "In the Folds of Italy,” The Po Delta
  • Cortona, "Cortona on the Move" Festival
  • Venice, Venice Art Biennale and Ferdinando Scianna at Tre Octi
  • Bolgona, MAST: Edward Burtinsky's Antropocene
  • Paris and 2019 Paris Photo Festival
  • Lucca, Photolux Festival

Attendance

Attendance: This includes participation/full participation.
Attendance and promptness are mandatory. Two absences will result in one grade less. Two late arrivals are equivalent to one absence. Eight minutes tardiness is equal to one lateness.

Critiques and tests cannot be missed. Check the final exam date on your schedule. No final exam absences will be excused; therefore, no flights can be scheduled before or on this date. Missing the final critique will greatly affect your grade, resulting in a high risk of failure. Only the co-directors and the Dean can make any exceptions to this rule.  Please talk to us in advance if you anticipate anything in these regards.

Grading

Students can achieve a passing grade by completing all of the requirements, having optimum attendance, participating in the MFA Seminar during critiques, during outside projects and by showing professionalism with guest visitors.

Standards:
A = Work that far exceeds the minimum requirements in craftsmanship, presentation, and visual/intellectual order. Your concepts, ideas, and insightful participation in class and in critiques have to be of high level to obtain this grade.
B = above average work that far exceeds the minimum requirements. Skillful handling of the materials with good concepts, showing initiative in critiques and in class.
C = Average work completion with only adequate control of the materials. Minimum class and critique participation.
D = Failure to complete assignments resulting from a minimum amount of effort, poor execution, and sloppy craftsmanship in the handling of the materials with little or no class participation.
F = Little or no effort with consideration to the assignments. No participation in class or critiques.

Recommended Reading

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Textbook Provision, SACI provides, when possible, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price of required and recommended reading. Note: Many required and recommended texts are available for loan or can be consulted in the SACI Worthington Library.

Frizot, Michel Frizot, A New History of Photography, Könemann, 1998.
ISBN: 9783829013284 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Marien, Mary Warner, Photography: A Cultural History, Laurence King Publishing, 2014.
ISBN: 9781780673325 (Retail price: £35)

Well, Liz Wells, Photography: A Critical Introduction, Routledge, 2007.
ISBN: 9780415307048 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Cotton, Charlotte, The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames and Hudson, 2009.
ISBN: 9780500204184 (Retail price: $20.95)

Ritchin, Fred, After Photography, W.W. Norton & Company, 2009.
ISBN: 9780393050240 (Retail price: $29.95)

Ritchin, Fred, Bending the Frame, Aperture, 2013.
ISBN: 9781597111201 (Retail price: $19.95)

Berger, John, Ways of Seeing, Penguin Books, 1977.
ISBN: 9780140135152 (Retail price: $16)

Berger, John, About Looking, Vintage International, 1991.
ISBN: 9780679736554 (Retail price: $15.95)

Berger, John, The Shape of a Pocket, Bloomsbury, 2001.
ISBN: 9780747558101 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Berger, John, Photocopies, Editions de l'Olivier, 1999.
ISBN: 978-2879292120 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Berger, John, Another Way of Telling, Vintage, 1995.
ISBN: 9780679737247 (Retail price: $21)

Berger, John, Understanding a Photograph, Aperture, 2013.
ISBN: 9781597112567 (Retail price: $24.95)

Didi-Huberman, Georges, Images in Spite of All, The University of Chicago Press, 2008.
ISBN: 9780226148175 (Retail price: $26)

Frizot, Michel, Photo Trouvée, Phaidon, 2006.
ISBN: 9780714845791 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Celant, Germano, Fotografia Maledetta e Non, Feltrinelli, 2015.
ISBN: 9788807105104 (Retail price: €25)

Carli, Enzo, Mario Giacomelli, Charta, 1995.
ISBN: 8881580365 (Retail price: To Be Determined)                     

Celant, Germano, Mario Giacomelli, Photology-Logos, 2001.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Falletti, Franca, and Johnathan Nelson, eds., Mapplethorpe: Perfection in Form / La perfezione nella forma, TeNeues, 2009.
ISBN: 9783832793685 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Danto, Arthur C., Playing with the Edge, University of California Press, 1996.
ISBN: 9783888144899 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Jodice, Mimmo, Mediterranean: Mimmo Jodice, Aperture, 1995.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Fontcuberta, Joan, Pandora’s Camera, Mack, 2014.
ISBN: 9781910164037 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Curti, Denis, and Sara Dolfi Agostini, Collezionare Fotografia, Contrasto, 2014.
ISBN: 9788869655081 (Retail price: €21.90)

Dyer, Geoff, The Ongoing Moment, Abacus, 2007.
ISBN: 9780349120119 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Flusser, Vilém, Towards a Philosophy of Photography, Reaktion Books, 2000.
ISBN: 9781861890764 (Retail price: $18)

Auster, Paul, Leviathan, Penguin Books, 1993.
ISBN: 9780140178135 (Retail price: $16)

Williams, Gilda, Boris Mikhailov, Phaidon, 2001.
ISBN: 9780714891675 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Gibson, Ralph, Chiaroscuro, Marval, 1990.
ISBN: 9782862340456 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Gibson, Ralph, Ex Libris: Ralph Gibson Photographs, PowerHouse Books, 2001.
ISBN: 9781576871003 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Gibson, Ralph, Ralph Gibson: Deus Ex Machina, Taschen, 1999.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Barbieri, Gian Paolo, Equator: Exotic Nudes, Taschen, 2003.
ISBN: 9783822823439 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Rossi, Aldo, and Roberta Valtorta, Gabriele Basilico. Porti di mare, Art&, 1990.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Basilico, Gabriele, Basilico: Interrupted City / La ciudad interrumpida, Actar, 1999.
ISBN: 9788489698536 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Basilico, Gabriele, ed., Appunti di viaggi ordinari, Bassilichi/Fondazione Studio Maragoni, 1998.
ISBN: To Be Determine (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Corà, Bruno, and Filippo Maggia, eds., Araki: Viaggio sentimentale, Gli Ori, 2000.
ISBN: 9788887700190 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Slyce, John, Russell Ferguson, Donna De Salvo, Gillian Wearing, Phaidon, 2011.
ISBN: 9780714838243 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Matthew Higgs, Pamela M. Lee, and Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Uta Barth, Phaidon Press, 2004.
ISBN: 9780714841533 (Retail price: $45)

Perrella, Cristina, ed., Gligorov, Overground Arts, 1997.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Immediate Family by Sally Mann, Aperture, 1992.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Mann, Sally, Still Time, Aperture, 1994.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ritchin, Fred, In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography, Aperture, 1999.
ISBN: 9780893818579 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Santini, Loretta, Inferno: James Nachtwey, Phaidon, 2003.
ISBN: 9780714838151 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Sisi, Carlo, and Diego Mormorio, Italia Metafisica - George Tatge, Contrasto, 2015.
ISBN: 9788869655951 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ghirri, Luigi, It's Beautiful Here, Isn't it... Photographs by Luigi Ghirri, Aperture, 2008.
ISBN: 9781597110587 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ghirri, Paola ed., Luigi Ghirri - Polaroid: Opera Completa 1979-1983, Baldini Castoldi Dalai, 2003.
ISBN: 9788880895541 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ghirri, Luigi, Luigi Ghirri, 2001.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ghirri, Luigi, Lezioni di Fotografia, Quodlibet, 2009.
ISBN: 9788874623129 (Retail price: €22)

Ghirri, Luigi, Kodachrome, Mack, 2012.
ISBN: 9781907946240 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Celant, Germano ed., Joel-Peter Witkin, Charta, 1995.
ISBN: 9788886158466 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Goldin, Nan, Nan Goldin, Phaidon, 2005.
ISBN: 9780714845531 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Goldin, Nan, Nan Goldin: The Devil's Playground, Phaidon, 2003.
ISBN: 9780714842233 (Retail price: €99.95)

Goldin, Nan et al., The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, Aperture, 1986.
ISBN: 9780893813390 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Goldin, Nan, The Other Side, Scalo Publishers, 1993.
ISBN: 3905080389 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Caponigro, Paul, Paul Caponigro, Aperture, 1967.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Galassi, Peter, Philip-Lorca di Corcia, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2005.
ISBN: 9780870701450 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Guerra, Tonino, Andrej Tarkovskij: Luce Istantanea, Edizioni della Meridiana, 2002.
ISBN: 9788887478549 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Biasiucci, Antonio, Antonio Biasiucci: Corpus, Art&, 1995.
ISBN: 9788886550055 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Biasiucci, Antonio, Antonio Biasiucci: Magma, Federico Motta, 1998.
ISBN: 9788881791835 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Parr, Martin, Common Sense, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1999.
ISBN: 9781899235070 (Retail price: $50)

Parr, Martin, The Last Resort, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2002.
ISBN: 9781899235162 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Brougher, Kerry, Jeff Wall, Museum of Contemporary Art, 1997.
ISBN: 9780914357476 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Waplington, Nick, Nick Waplington: Truth or Consequences, Phaidon, 2001.
ISBN: 9780714840543 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ballen, Roger, Outland, Phaidon, 2001.
ISBN: 9780714840581 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ballen, Roger, and Robert A. Sobieszek, Roger Ballen: Shadow Chamber, Phaidon, 2005.
ISBN: 9780714844664 (Retail price: €49.95)

Lifson, Ben, Samaras, Aperture, 1988.
ISBN: 9780893812416 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Pierini, Marco ed., Robert Pettena: Noble Explosion, Silvana Editoriale, 2014.
ISBN: 9788836630400 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Favrod, Charles-Henri, Shanta Rao: Stories of Women, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1995.
ISBN: 9781899235308 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Dabashi, Hamid, Shirin Neshat, Edizioni Charta, 2002.
ISBN: 9788881583607 (Retail price: $31.95)

Misrach, Richard, and Susan Sontag, Violent Legacies. Richard Misrach, Aperture, 1994,
ISBN: 9780893815691 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Sigmar Polke: Photoworks: When Pictures Vanish, Museum of Contemporary Art, 1996,
ISBN: 9780914357445 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Pesaresi, Marco, intr. by Francis Ford Coppola, Underground. Travels on the Global Metro, Aperture and Bay Area Video Coalition,1998.
ISBN: 978-0893817534 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Campigotto, Luca, Venice: The City by Night, Thames & Hudson, 2006.
ISBN: 9780500543184 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Delahaye, Luc, Winterreise, Phaidon Press, 2000.
ISBN: 9780714839974 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Delahaye, Luc, L’autre, Phaidon Press, 1999.
ISBN: 9780714838427 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Minkkinen, Arno Rafael, Arno Rafael Minkkinen: Body Land, Federico Motta, 1997.
ISBN: 9788871791470 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Bright, Susan, Auto Focus: The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography, The Monacelli Press, 2010.
ISBN: 9781580933001 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Martin, Lesley A. ed., Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance, Aperture, 2011.
ISBN: 9781597111447 (Retail price: $60)

Vann Denderen, Ad, Go No Go, Paradox, 2003.
ISBN: 9789080265561 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Parke, Trent, Minutes to Midnight, Steidl, 2014:
ISBN: 9783869302058 (Retail price: $45)

Aue-Sobol, Jacob, I, Tokyo, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2009.
ISBN: 9781904587682 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Caujolle, Christian,Michael Ackerman End Time City, Scalo Publishers,1999.
ISBN: 9783908247135 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ackerman, Michael, Fiction, Kehayoff Verlag, 2002.
ISBN: 9783934296220 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Ackerman, Michael, Half Life, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2011.
ISBN: 9781907893001 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Stahel, Urs, and Hripsimé Visser, eds., Peter Hujar: A Retrospective, Scalo Publishers, 1994.
ISBN: 9781881616351 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Calle, Sophie, Sophie Calle: M’as-tu vue, Prestel, 2003.
ISBN: 9783791330358 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Calle, Sophie, Sophie Calle: Suite Venitienne, Siglio, 2015.
ISBN: 9781938221095 (Retail price: $34.95)

Calle, Sophie, Sophie Calle: The Address Book, Siglio, 2012.
ISBN: 9780979956294 (Retail price: $29.95)

Boltanski, Christian, Advent and Other Times, Ediciones Poligrafa, 1996.
ISBN: To Be Determined (Retail price: To Be Determined)

Alain Borer, ed., The Essential Joseph Beuys, The MIT Press, 1997.
​ISBN: 9780262024310 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

DVD: The Genius of Photography, BBC, 2009

DVD: CONTACTS 2 - based on an idea by William Klein

DVD: CONTACTS 3 - based on an idea by William Klein

DVD: Hot Spots: Martin Parr in the American South, by Neal Broffmann

DVD: Roger Ballen: The Asylum – Memento Mori, by Saskia Vredeveld

Schedule

Week 1 - Thursday, September 12
Contemporary Photography – from 1975 to the Present – Part One: Globalism, Technology and Social Change – Reading: from P Mary Warner Marien’s Photography: A Cultural History, Part Six – chapter 12 – Homework: Adopt a photograph (Exercise about Ekphrasis: choose a photograph within the body of work analyzed during the lesson and write a short essay – one A4 page – about it).

Reminder: Midterm Exam Paper due October 24 - Title: Art Photography and Photography by Artists (a minimum of 5 double spaced pages with bibliography).

Week 2 - Thursday, September 19
Contemporary Photography – from 1975 to the Present – Part Two: Postmodernism – Art Photography and Photography by Artists – Feminism in Photography – Reading: from Photography: A Cultural History, Part Six – chapter 13 - Homework: Adopt a photograph.

Friday, September 20
Field Trip to Bologna : MAST, Edward Burtinksy’s Anthropocene
https://www.mast.org/home

Week 3 - Thursday, September 26
Contemporary Photography – from 1975 to the Present – Part Three: Into the 21st Century - Photography in the Digital Age – Reading: A Cultural History, Part Six – chapter 14 and excerpt from Fred Ritchin’s After Photography - Homework: Adopt a photograph – Midterm Paper - Title: Art Photography and Photography by Artists. A minimum of 5 double spaced pages.

Saturday, September 28 Field Trip to Cortona: Cortona on the Move Photo Festival
https://www.cortonaonthemove.com/en/

Week 4 - Thursday, October 3
Photography, the web and social networks (practice) – Lecture by Camilla Torna.

Week 5 - Thursday, October 10
Photography, the web and social networks (theory) – Lecture by Alessandra Capodacqua.

Friday, October 11 – Saturday, October 12: In the Folds of Italy – Field Trip to Po’s Delta

Week 6 - Thursday, October 17
Work time.

Reminder: Midterm Exam Paper due October 24 - Title: Art Photography and Photography by Artists (a minimum of 5 double spaced pages with bibliography).

Week 7 - Thursday, October 24
Presentation of the Midterm paper. Title: Art Photography and Photography by Artists (a minimum of 5 double spaced pages with bibliography).

Friday, October 25
Midterm Review

The MFA Midterm Review will be conducted by: the Co-Directors

Week 8 - MIDTERM BREAK (October 26 – November 3)

Week 9 - Thursday, November 7
Writing a thesis: Lecture by Maria Antonia Rinaldi - Start thinking about the final paper (a minimum of 10 double spaced pages). Theme to be submitted to the instructor by November 16.

Reminder: Final paper due on December 19 (a minimum of 10 double spaced pages with bibliography) – presentation: the final paper will be presented in front of the Graduate Review Board (the two Co-Directors of the MFA in Photography program and another faculty member appointed by the Co-Directors). A draft of the paper must be completed and sent to the committee members at least one week prior the presentation (December 12).

Friday, November 8 - Sunday, November 10
Field trip to Paris: Paris Photo
https://www.parisphoto.com/en/Home/

Research paper on one of the exhibitions of the Paris Photo festival (a minimum of 3 double-spaced pages)

Week 10 - Thursday, November 14
Lecture: The themes of contemporary photography/Introduction to Venice Art Biennale - View of a documentary

Friday, November 15 – Saturday, November 16: Venice - 2019 Art Biennale Field Trip
https://www.labiennale.org/en/art/2019

Visit to Tre Oci Photo Museum for the exhibition of Ferdinando Scianna http://www.treoci.org/index.php/en/exhibitions/nexts-exhibitions/item/394-ferdinando-scianna

Week 11 - Thursday, November 21
Lecture: Margherita Abbozzo – Fashion and Photography

Week 12 - Thursday, November 28
Lecture: Documentary now

Friday, November 29: Field Trip to Lucca Photolux Festival

Week 13 - Thursday, December 5
Lecture: Photography and Involuntarily Art - Work time

Week 14 - Thursday, December 12
Work time.

Week 15 - Thursday, December 19
​Final paper due (a minimum of 10 double spaced pages with bibliography) – presentation: the final paper will be presented in front of the Graduate Review Board
(the two Co-Directors of the MFA in Photography program and another faculty member appointed by the Co-Directors). A draft of the paper must be completed and sent to the committee members at least one week prior the presentation.

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.

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