Tuesday Feb 07, 2023

Susan Bright, curator | EP46 Subtext & Discourse

Dr. Susan Bright is an Australian/British curator currently based in London. She has a specialisation in lens-based arts and contemporary visual culture with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary and international programming. She was a curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London before deciding to work independently in the early 2000s. Her professional life has brought her to live in London, New York and Paris where she has worked with many institutions on a wide range of projects. These include: Tate, Barbican, The Royal Academy, The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Saint Louis Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, and The New York Public Library.

In 2007 she co-curated the landmark exhibition How We Are at Tate Britain. This was the first major exhibition of British photography ever held at Tate. In the same year she curated Face of Fashion at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Other significant exhibitions include: Home Truths at The Photographers’ Gallery and The Foundling Museum, London (2014) and Playground at Serlachius Museum, Finland (2018). Her survey exhibition Feast for the Eyes toured to six major museums and galleries in Europe, Canada and the USA (2018-2021).

In 2019 she was Guest Curator at PHotoESPAÑA. Exhibitions were held at Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa, Museo Lázaro Galdiano and the Museo del Romanticismo in Madrid. In 2021 she was co-curator of f/stop 9: Festival für Fotografie in Leipzig.

Bright is regularly invited to be a visiting speaker, critic and scholar at universities worldwide. She taught curatorial practice and visual culture to both art and art history students for fifteen years at institutions including Parsons and the School of Visual Arts in New York and Sotheby’s Institute and University of the Arts, London.

She has authored and co-authored seven books. These include: Photography Decoded (Tate/Ilex, 2019); Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography (Aperture, 2017); Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood (Art/Books, 2013); Auto Focus: The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography (Thames & Hudson, 2010); How We Are: Photographing Britain (Tate, 2007); Face of Fashion (National Portrait Gallery, 2007) and Art Photography Now (Thames & Hudson, 2005).

Bright holds a PhD in Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Interview with Susan Bright recorded by Michael Dooney on 3. November 2021 in London, UK.

Portrait photo supplied by interviewee




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