Etc.


Featured here are a section of talks, interviews, panels and juries Susan Bright has participated in. 




My Friend, My Self: concentrating on female friendship, the stories in this essay for Aeon Magazine’s Psyche issue reveal how complicated and vulnerable people can be and teach us how we must nurture and attend to our friends — and ourselves.

“A few years ago, a curator I know professionally invited me to Arizona to give a lecture. The talk would be in Phoenix and we would stay at her house in Tucson. The invitation made me nervous – not due to the public speaking, or the fact I was travelling to a part of the United States that I had not been to before, but because it would involve several two-hour car journeys with somebody I didn’t know well.”   Read more



In this episode of BBC’s Art of Now podcast, Susan Bright interviews sculptors, performance artists and filmmakers who use animal parts as their raw material.



commonplace is an Instagram exchange with the artist Susannah Baker-Smith. It takes its name from commonplace books, which were traditionally a repository for observations, excerpts, and images.



Running, for me, is not something I do — I have become a runner. This subtle shift in language and attitude is a welcome addition to my identity, and one of which I am immensely proud.



Why is it almost a shock to see a photograph of oneself when we see ourselves in the mirror every day? Susan Bright, curator of influential exhibitions such as Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood at the Photographers’ Gallery and guest curator of PHotoESPAÑA 2019, muses on the strangeness of being photographed.



Sabine Mirlesse interview. Excerpt below:

SM: What are some of the first elements you consider when you began the making of an exhibition in general? Can you walk us through your thought process a little?

SB: Every exhibition is different. It can start with an idea or a feeling, which I then drill down to something tighter or it can start with an artwork that I think resonates with another and a theme emerges. I must say I work pretty intuitively and often what I am trying to say comes clearer to me as the project evolves – I guess that is a pretty common creative process. I tend to work very closely with artists – this process reflects the idea of ‘conversation as creative practice’, whereby many private thoughts become public through the act of curation. It’s very much a joint effort. But a lot of curating is hard admin and this needs to be made clear as I think many people are not fully aware of this and think its rather glamorous. There are endless checks on prints, sizes, transport, plans, etc. It’s the beginning and end of the process that feel more fluid and creative. I learn something about the work from every installation. It’s always a wonderful surprise to see something I so clearly have in my head manifest into physical space. It’s like magic.

Read the rest here.



A conversation with Elina Brotherus inside her show at Serlachius Museum.



CCP presented Unseen and Undiscovered in 2017. This event was a string of daily presentations by curators, collectors and editors on the work of five emerging or overlooked photographers they discovered in the past year. The second installment featured Susan Bright (curator and writer) and Simindokht Dehghani (Director Ag Galerie). The five emerging or overlooked photographers Susan Bright mentioned were Anne Eder, Caroline McQuarrie, Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis, Jesse Chun, and Anne de Gelas.



2014 interview with Dr. Daniel Palmer (Associate Dean of Research and Innovation in the School of Art at RMIT University, Melbourne). Read full conversation here.

Daniel Palmer: How long have you been a photography curator?

Susan Bright: I completed my Masters in Art Theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1997, and was not quite sure what I wanted to do. I had been travelling before this and was somewhat rudderless. Soon afterwards, I started to intern at the Chisenhale Gallery in the East End of London. I was really much more interested in video art and installation art at that point, and that was really where I thought I would end up. By a set of very strange coincidences and circumstances, which I still can’t really explain, I ended up volunteering in the photography department at the Victoria & Albert Museum. And that was it. Prior to then, I’d never really looked at art photography seriously before, nor was it taught in my Art History BA. The experience within the photo department set me on my path. What it also made me realise was that I’d always been interested in photography. I’d always collected records, posters and postcards and stuff like that. I was very much into photography in popular culture, but for some reason had not translated that interest into my art history education. From the V&A I went to the National Portrait Gallery, as Assistant Curator, then to the Association of Photographers – which is a slightly odd trade-based organisation for commercial photographers. It was more like a gallery managers post. Here I learnt about the logistics, finance, administration and diplomacy of exhibition making (all essential skills to the wider field of curating). I went freelance as a photography curator and writer in 2002.



Over the last decade, Susan Bright's editing, curating, and teaching has focused on bringing photography to the center of discussions about fine art. Her fascination with music videos (denigrated films or art in their own right) is only fitting. Curating for MOCAtv, Bright gives us four fine art photographers turned video directors, who execute photographic strategies of portraiture and performance to deftly navigate the laden terrain between mass media and art.



Each year Massey University's College of Creative Arts brings an internationally significant photographic historian, theorist or artist to Wellington to deliver the annual Peter Turner Memorial Lecture.

In 2016 writer and curator Susan Bright delivered the Peter Turner Memorial Lecture. Her practice covers both the making of exhibitions and the writing and editing of books. Throughout these projects a level of intimacy is involved. This manifests itself in both the process of her curatorial work and the photographic projects she is attracted to. In exhibitions, Bright seeks to create a connection with audiences that challenges the relationship with photographs that today takes place primarily on the screen as a part of every day life.  Projects explored in this lecture will include Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood, Face of Fashion, Auto Focus and forthcoming exhibitions, alongside books that highlight the pivotal role of the curator when dealing with highly personal, intimate photography in an ever autobiographical photographic culture.



Curator Susan Bright talks about Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and Loss at the Foundling Museum. 11 October 2013 - 5 January 2014.



An interview with Susan Bright, curator of Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and Identity at The Photographers' Gallery (11 October 2013 - 5 January 2014).



Contextualizing Pickering within a trajectory of British photography, Bright talks about the "melancholy" and "deadpan" qualities that are characteristic of British photography. Introducing her series Public Order, a project exploring the Metropolitan Police Public Order Training Center, Pickering describes the works impetus as being in part about the way "Institutions are always trying to plan for the unexpected and trying to control and manage something that can't be controlled."

This conversation between photographer Sarah Pickering and independent writer, lecturer, and curator Susan Bright, took place March 31, 2010, on the occasion of the publication of Pickering's first monograph: Explosions, Fires and Public Order. This monograph brings together four of Sarah Pickering's photographic series which collectively present a visually arresting glimpse into the secret world of civil defense.

Sarah Pickering (born in Durham City, England, 1972) finished her MA in photography at the Royal College of Art in London in 2005. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Photographers' Gallery Graduate Award and a Jerwood Award. Pickering has exhibited internationally and in the UK where her work was part of How We Are: Photographing Britain, at Tate Britain co-curated by Susan Bright.



Pride Photo Award is an annual international photo contest for photos about sexual and gender diversity. Susan Bright was on the jury in 2016 alongside Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, Hideko Kataoka, John Fleetwood and Sunil Gupta. The winning image was by Turkish photographer Akin Celiktas with a photo of the banned 2016 Istanbul Gay Pride.



Have all these years of being involved in photography, on so many levels, changed your way of seeing the world?

SB: No – photography helps me see the world as I think I explained in the first question. Also, although I obviously love my profession and photography I also think its vital to get a healthy distance from it and retain a part of your life that is utterly separate. I find I can do this very easily and love moments in life that have absolutely nothing to do with photography. This is the usual stuff - friends, family, cooking, reading fiction, dancing, running. These things all bring me joy on a much deeper level.

Read more from this 2016 interview with Klaus Fruchtinis for Urbanautica.






Susan Bright participated in the i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration lecture series, presented by MPS Digital Photography at SVA, which features presentations by digital photographers, hardware and software developers and industry experts.




Jury member for or the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie, at Villa Noailles, Hyères 21st-15th April 2016 with Chris Littlewood, Lesley Martin, Clare Strand, Jean Paul Goude, Gareth Pugh, Pierre Louis Denis, Chantal Webber, Jean-Michel Bertin and Heval Okcuoglu.
The Hyères Festival promotes young artists in the fields of fashion and photography. The Villa Noailles organizes competitions, exhibitions and conferences to highlight ten fashion designers and ten photographers, who are selected by a jury consisting of members of each profession.

Artists include Anaïs Boileau; Jojakim Cortis & Adrian Sonderegger; Maja Daniels; Louise Desnos; Jason Larkin; Emilie Regnier; Ilona Szwarc; Fleur van Dodewaard; Vendula Knopova and Sasha Kurmaz.

This year's jury awarded Vendula Knopova with the 15,000 Euro prize.






The summer 2014 issue of Creem Magazine is on issuu. Conceived, shot, edited and designed by Erik Madigan Heck, it is a veritable treasure trove of interviews and a wonderful collection of portraits and stories.



In conversation with Elinor Curucci, October 2013 The School of Visual Arts. Watch it on iTunes here.

on left: Elinor Carucci, Mother, 2012
Archival Ink Jet Print, 35x45 inches



Jury member ICP Infinity Awards

Since 1985, the annual ICP Infinity Awards have recognized major contributions and emerging talent in the fields of photojournalism, art, fashion photography, and publishing. The 2013 recipient selection committee included Susan Bright, Curator/Writer, New York, NY; Douglas Nickel, Andrea V. Rosenthal Professor of Modern Art, History of Art and Architecture, Brown University; and Ramon Reverte, Editor in Chief and Creative Director, Editorial RM, Mexico/Barcelona.



Jury member W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography

The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion evidenced during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist. Juror member alongside Kira Pollock (TIME Director of Visual Enterprise) in 2012.



Jury member The Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer's Fellowship

The Aaron Siskind Foundation offers a limited number of Individual Photographer's Fellowship grants of up to $10,000 each, for artists working in photography and photo-based art. Recipients will be determined by a panel of distinguished guest judges on the basis of artistic excellence, accomplishment to date, and the promise of future achievement in the medium in its widest sense. The Foundation seeks to support artists/photographers who demonstrate a serious commitment to the field, who are professionally active or employed in the field. Juror in 2011 alongside Alexa Dilworth and Jamie Wellford.



Jury member The Google Photography Prize

To coincide with the Out of Focus exhibition held at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2012 the gallery partnered Google for a student prize. The large international panel awarded Swedish photojournalism student Viktor Johansson the prize.



Jury member, Flash Forward - Emerging Photographers.

Established in 2004 in Toronto, The Magenta Foundation is a trailblazing charitable arts publishing house that consistently showcases the work of talented artists on a global scale, drawing attention to underrepresented photographers in powerful exhibitions and a roster of impressive international publications. The emerging photographers competition supports all young photographers working in all forms of photography.



Host of an evening with Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin in October 2009 at The School of Visual Arts theater. Watch it on iTunes.

on left: Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
Fig. 3 (c-type print, 5x4", 2007)



In November 2010 Aperture Foundation at The New School hosted Confounding Expectations: Revisiting "In, Around and Afterthoughts on Documentary Photography".

Participating artists included:  Chris Verene, Michael Wolf and LaToya Ruby Frazier.



Talks at SVA available on iTunes U:
From Ink to iPad
With W.M. Hunt on The Unseen Eye



Invited speaker at Toronto's Flash Forward Festival.



Early research interview on representation of mothers (June 2012)

on left: Hanna Putz, Untitled (A.M. 1), 2011
Color Photograph, 80×100 cm

Edition: 6 + 3 A.P.



So why is it that there is still a complicated, rivalrous relationship between the worlds of art and photography? Why is photography still referred to in a semi-derogatory way? What is it about photography that makes it, for some people, inherently of less worth when held up against other art mediums? In April 2012 Susan Bright was invited by the Saatchi Gallery (London) to participate in a discussion with Mitch Epstein, Geoff Dyer and Hannah Starkey to explore the status, display and appreciation of photography in the art world.