We need to talk … about collections


18h00 (in English)

Free admission, registration required until the day before via the online form.  

The meetings are followed by an aperitif where participants can continue their exchanges in a less formal manner.

If you don’t ask questions, a collection stays silent (after Allan Sekula), with Urs Stahel

Urs Stahel is a curator, author and lecturer specialising in photography. He co-founded the Fotomuseum Winterthur, which he directed from 1993 to 2013, and is currently a consultant for several private collections, including MAST – Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia in Bologna, and the Vontobel art collection in Zurich. Drawing on his extensive professional background in this field, he will share some of his experiences in creating photography collections and establishing their missions and strategies. The conversation will also address broader questions related to collections such as: what is an acquisition policy? What is the role of a consultant in the context of an art collection? What are the differences between a public and a private collection? Which institutions collect contemporary photography in Switzerland?

‘We need to talk…’ is a new series of public talk proposed by the Centre de la photographie Genève, addressed primarily to artists, photographers and students in these disciplines. Professionals from different fields related to art and photography are invited to share their expertise and professional experience, and to discuss the specificities of their practice. With these talks, the Centre de la photographie Genève intends to demystify certain professions, encourage good practices, and support artists and photographers in important processes related to their profession, which remain largely unaddressed in schools. The third cycle of the "We need to talk..." series, addresses issues relating to the creation of public and private photographic collections, the workings of the art market and copyright in relation to new image technologies.

Image: The MAST Collection. A Visual Alphabet of Industry, Technology and Work, Fondazione MAST, Bologna, 2022