Photography, Curation, Criticism : An Anthology book cover
1st Edition

Photography, Curation, Criticism
An Anthology

  • Available for pre-order on June 29, 2023. Item will ship after July 20, 2023
ISBN 9781032407722
July 20, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages 49 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This unique collection brings together the work of photography writer, curator, and lecturer, Liz Wells, reflecting on key themes of landscape, place, nationhood and environmental concerns.

The collection opens with a conversation with Martha Langford, bringing together two leading figures in the field to provide an introduction to Wells’ thought and the themes that emerge in her work. The essays brought together here draw on work from a variety of sources including artists’ photobooks, exhibition catalogues, magazines, academic books and journals. Chapters are divided into three sections, each opening with an introduction by the author, providing context for the essays and drawing links to contemporary debates around climate and environment. All of these pieces demonstrate Well’s approach to thinking through practice, reflecting a core view of art (at its best) operating to convey information including the implications of what is being explored and to evoke responses that are simultaneously sensory and intellectual.

This collection will be essential reading for students and scholars of photography, visual culture, and art history, especially those examining landscape and environmental photography.

Table of Contents

SECTION ONE Critical Reflections  1. Introduction: Photography, Curation, Criticism  2.Speaking of this Collection: A Conversation Between Martha Langford and Liz Wells, 2022  SECTION TWO On Curation and Residency  3. Curatorial strategy as critical intervention - The Genesis of Facing East, 2007  4. Landscapes of Exploration, 2012  5. On Being Out of Place, 2018  SECTION THREE Phenomena  6. Icy Prospects’, 2003.  7. Light Touch, 2014.  8. No Man’s Land: Antarctica and the Contemporary Sublime’, 2011.  SECTION FOUR Place  9. Points of Departure: currencies of the post-industrial sublime, 2012  10. Questions of Distance, 2011.  11. Photography, Nation, Nature’, 2012.  12. A Man of the North’, 2014.  13. Hidden Histories and Landscape Enigmas, 2019.  14. Histories and Imagination: narrative and metaphor in the work of John Kippin’, 2018.  15. Silent Witness, 2013  SECTION FIVE Critical Spaces  16. Seeing Beyond Belief: Cultural Studies as an Approach to Analysing the Visual’, 2001. Co-author, Martin Lister.  17. The Critical Forum’, 2000.  18. Then and Now, some notes on photography and theory’, 2002.  19. Modes of Investigation: on photography and environment, 2014.

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Liz Wells writer, curator, and lecturer edited The Photography Reader and The Photography Culture Reader (2019; 2003 1st ed.) and Photography: A Critical Introduction (2021, 6th ed.; trans, Greek, 2008; Chinese, 2012; Korean, 2016) and is a co-editor for photographies, Routledge journals. She has contributed many essays within artist books, exhibition catalogues, journals, and other edited collections, some of which form part of this anthology of her (dispersed) writings. She is series editor for Photography, Place, Environment published by Routledge.


Liz Wells is one of our most sincere, intelligent, and respected scholars and curators of photography.  Her edited anthologies are touchstone texts for all of us researching, teaching, and creating photographic histories.  Photography, Curation, Criticism presents us with a real gift: a collection of career-spanning essays devoted solely to her distinct voice on the pressing socio-political, epistemic, and aesthetic issues that traverse the history of photography.  A voice that will resound into the future of our complex field.  

Jae Emerling, College of Arts + Architecture, University of North Carolina, Charlotte