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Posted December 22, 2015 in Press Releases

2016 Annual National Conference in Las Vegas

Author: SPE National

(CLEVELAND) – The Society for Photographic Education’s (SPE) 53rd Annual National Conference will convene March 10-13, 2016, at the Red Rock Resort, Las Vegas. The theme for the 2016 conference, “Constructed Realities,” will address the constructed nature of the photograph and question ideological notions of its authenticity.

“Since the inception of photography, conventions have been established that helped shape the notion of the photograph as a realistic record of a scene present before the camera,” says Conference Chair, Lupita Murillo Tinnen. “While contemporary viewers have come to acknowledge that truth-claims are informed by the photographer’s bias and perhaps the viewer’s expectations, we have started to see shifts in the way lens-based artists operate as they transform or manifest less tangible realities. Las Vegas is an ideal location to engage in discourse addressing the aspects of myth, fantasy, and reality in photography and deconstruct rhetoric of what constitutes a photograph.”

SPE boasts a unique community of photographic educators, students, curators, exhibiting artists, photojournalists, gallery directors, critics and collectors. The national conference is the centerpiece of SPE’s yearly programming and features: artist talks, panel discussions and lectures, one-on-one portfolio reviews, Adobe demo sessions, career mentoring, a curator portfolio walkthrough, print raffle and silent auction, film festival, joint caucus exhibition slideshow projection and exhibits fair, featuring over fifty corporate exhibitors showcasing the latest equipment and processes, hot-off-the-press books and other resources for lens-based artists. The exhibits fair is free and open to the public.

An impressive lineup of speakers includes: keynote speaker Gregory Crewdson, and featured speakers Lyle Ashton Harris, and the collaborative pair Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler. Gregory Crewdson will open the conference Thursday evening with a presentation of his new project “Cathedral of the Pines.” Known for his elaborate cinematic-style productions, Crewdson will speak to his impressive three-decade long career and the personal thread that pervades this latest work. Friday’s evening address by Lyle Ashton Harris, sponsored by PhotoVideoEDU / MAC Group, will examine his diverse interdisciplinary practice and will discuss the impact of ethnicity, gender, and desire on our contemporary social and cultural dynamics. On Saturday, Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler will expand on their 25 years of collaborative video, photography and sculpture practice. Their work elicits open-ended reflections on space and time through hybrid forms of storytelling. They will present and discuss temporal and durational aspects of their work as well as the role of the “contentual loop” in their artistic process. ­­

Other programming includes: more than 40 presentations scheduled throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, an invited panel of Mexican-based educators, sponsored, in part, by the SPE Ad hoc International Committee; ceremony for Honored Educator, Jim Stone; Insight Award Winner, Anne Tucker; the 2016 Student Award Winners; and 2016 SPE Imagemaker Award Winner, Brian Ulrich.

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