Magnum Ireland

Research into the Magnum Photos archive by Val Williams with Brigitte Lardinois (Magnum). This research, which uncovered many previously unpublished bodies of work is disseminated through the Magnum Ireland book and an exhibition in preparation for the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

‘When attempting to place the work of Magnum photographers within a history of photography made in Ireland, one soon becomes aware of how fragmentary and unwritten both of those histories are. Like so much else in Ireland, photography is a contested territory. The conflict between Ireland as a place to be looked at, and a country which looks at itself is, in photographic terms, an instructive one. From the travel books of the 1960s, which portrayed Ireland as a misty, boggy place with no inhabitants, apart from a picturesque child or an occasional character on a donkey, to the images of a war torn North, which gained currency across the world through publication in the press, the view of Ireland in photographs has always been a partial and biased one.’

‘From Bruce Davidson’s unseen series on the Duffy Circus travelling the Ireland in the Sixties to the never before published colour photographs of the 12 July celebrations in Belfast in the early Sixties, when the Troubles had not yet started and children from both sides of the divide helped building the bonfires as a neighbourhood event every story conjures up visions of world gone by. It was a challenge to edit down the enormous amount of material in the archive dealing with the Troubles in the North- with atrocities at their height in the Seventies and Eighties and the large selection of hard hitting black and white images of the Troubles in the Seventies and Eighties taken by Abbas, Berry, Barbey, Freed and Steele Perkins –and again Philip Jones Griffiths and many others are but a fraction of what can be seen in the Magnum archive.’

Extract from Magnum Ireland
Brigitte Lardinois and Val Williams
Thames and Hudson
September 2005

PHOTOGRAPHY
AND THE ARCHIVE
RESEARCH CENTRE

Navigation

Magnum Ireland

Research into the Magnum Photos archive by Val Williams with Brigitte Lardinois (Magnum). This research, which uncovered many previously unpublished bodies of work is disseminated through the Magnum Ireland book and an exhibition in preparation for the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

‘When attempting to place the work of Magnum photographers within a history of photography made in Ireland, one soon becomes aware of how fragmentary and unwritten both of those histories are. Like so much else in Ireland, photography is a contested territory. The conflict between Ireland as a place to be looked at, and a country which looks at itself is, in photographic terms, an instructive one. From the travel books of the 1960s, which portrayed Ireland as a misty, boggy place with no inhabitants, apart from a picturesque child or an occasional character on a donkey, to the images of a war torn North, which gained currency across the world through publication in the press, the view of Ireland in photographs has always been a partial and biased one.’

‘From Bruce Davidson’s unseen series on the Duffy Circus travelling the Ireland in the Sixties to the never before published colour photographs of the 12 July celebrations in Belfast in the early Sixties, when the Troubles had not yet started and children from both sides of the divide helped building the bonfires as a neighbourhood event every story conjures up visions of world gone by. It was a challenge to edit down the enormous amount of material in the archive dealing with the Troubles in the North- with atrocities at their height in the Seventies and Eighties and the large selection of hard hitting black and white images of the Troubles in the Seventies and Eighties taken by Abbas, Berry, Barbey, Freed and Steele Perkins –and again Philip Jones Griffiths and many others are but a fraction of what can be seen in the Magnum archive.’

Extract from Magnum Ireland
Brigitte Lardinois and Val Williams
Thames and Hudson
September 2005