Lecture “Anti-Venus. Photographing Body Now” by the Polish photo historian Adam Mazur

Thursday, 2 February 2023 at 6 p.m.

Adam Mazur is a Polish photo historian who is one of the authors of the soon-to-be-published book “The Queue. An Episode in Tartu’s Photo History”. His article talks about the legendary nude photography exhibition “Venus” in Krakow which played an important role in the creation of the Tartu exhibition “Woman in Photographic Art”. In his lecture, however, Mazur will not focus on history, but on the role of nudes in contemporary photography.

The lecture is in English.

Participation requires a museum ticket. The length of the lecture is about an hour and a half.


Anti-Venus. Photographing Body Now

Nude photography is probably the riskiest genre. Never before in history have so many photos of naked bodies been taken as today. The lecture will focus on the changes taking place within the field of photographic production, methods of exposure, circumvention of censorship and the impact of political correctness and cancel culture on a genre which is as old as photography itself. Among the examples, the emphasis will be on artists from Central and Eastern Europe, e.g. Sasha Kurmaz, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Sergey Melnitchenko, Eva Szombat, Peter Puklus, Iiu Susiraja, Arnis Balcus and Sophie Thun. However, people from other regions will also be considered including authors like Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Talia Chetrit and Cassils. Despite fundamental differences, it seems that nude photography in the 1970s and 1980s in the former Eastern Bloc had an important emancipatory function.


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Photo: Arnis Balcus