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A little bit of magic realized—First photographic experiments

Lecture by Saskia Asser

Time 08:30 p.m.
Ticket 10/6 Euro . Available online (plus booking fee) and at C/O Berlin
The lecture will be in English.

In 1839, William Henry Fox Talbot, the British photography pioneer, described his new invention as “a little bit of magic realized.” His contemporaries were shocked and stunned by his early photographic images. How could reality have frozen itself on a piece of paper? As if nature had made its own drawings! Nothing, though, could be further from the truth. Talbot and many early pioneers had been experimenting for years to optimize the photographic technique and to resolve their many imperfections before photography could fulfil its potential as a mass medium in the 20th century. This lecture by Saskia Asser, curator at Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography in Amsterdam, is part of the program accompanying the exhibition Back to the Future . The 19th Century in the 21st Century at C/O Berlin. Asser will focus on these endeavours and make some of the excitement palpable that this revolutionary invention evoked.

Saskia Asser is a curator at Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography in Amsterdam. As a descendent of the Dutch photographic pioneer Eduard Isaac Asser (1809-1894), she was interested in the history of photography from an early age. After her graduation from the University of Leiden in 1996, she created an online catalogue of all early photographs in Dutch collections for the Rijksmuseum. At Huis Marseille, where she has been since 1999 (apart from a three-year activity at World Press Photo in 2012-2015), she creates exhibitions and publications about both historical and contemporary photography. The past few years, she also was the editor of the Rijksmuseum Studies in Photography.