In addressing the role of museums and curators as narrative-makers, Corey Keller noted that she and her colleagues try their best to “complicate” what might otherwise be an overly tidy story of photography’s history. This sense of necessary untidiness, alluded to by my fellow reporters, also characterized the symposium’s discourse in ways that alternately helped to identify critical issues and undermine the coherence of a given dialogue. Nevertheless, as Dominic Willsdon observed in concluding the event, there were “these moments, these flashes, when suddenly something quite urgent and important [would appear],” only to dip beneath the surface again.
A great deal of this urgency came from the audience, whose astute comments and pointed questions stirred the panelists to react. To keep them from receding into the rear-v... More