Documentary photography exhibit and symposium at Purdue

September 17, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — How digital technology affects documentary photography will be one topic explored through a new art exhibit and symposium at Purdue University.

The exhibition, re[connect], will run Monday (Sept. 22) to Oct. 10 at Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries in the Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts. The symposium will be Sept. 25 and 26 at Lawson Computer Science Building, Room 1142. More information about the lectures and panel discussions is available online. Some of the topics that will be discussed include documentary form, subject matter, challenging ethical norm and digital manipulation. Both events are free and open to the public. Min Kim Park, an assistant professor of visual and performing arts, is the curator for this project.

The events are sponsored by Purdue's College of Liberal Arts Enhancing Research in Humanities Grant and the Photography Program in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. The exhibit also will travel to Syo gallery in South Korea from Oct. 27-Nov. 7, and ADM gallery in Nanyang Technological University in Singapore from Nov. 24-Dec. 8.

"Documentary photography has undergone changes in the last three decades as it has become increasingly appropriated into the art world," Park said. "Imagery that once used to illustrate pages in journals now often hangs on gallery walls. Many people have questioned whether this signifies a new path for documentary photography, and to what extent it can still function effectively in this new domain."

As photography entered into the 21st century, the advent of digital technology completely changed the philosophy of construction of documentary photography, Park said.

"The common use of digital technology has increased awareness of how easy it is to manipulate documentary images," she said. "With this manipulation, new genres of documentary imagery have increased confusion as to how we define documentary photography." 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Source: Min Kim Park,

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