Ideas Series: Towards “the new vision”

Brett Rogers was appointed Director of The Photographers’ Gallery in September 2005 with a remit to take the gallery into a new building and a new beginning.

In her first magazine article since her appointment Rogers describes her vision for the future of the organisation. 

Not long before accepting the job as Director of The Photographers’ Gallery I read an excoriating review in a Sunday broadsheet which lambasted the outgoing director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Phillip Dodd, for imposing his radical vision on that organisation. The writer criticised Dodd for transforming the ICA into a digital place which felt ‘carcinogenic’ because he ‘divorced the ICA from tangible human passions and that exciting smell of proper human creativity’ ; added to which he had a reception which felt like a branch of Waterstones. What struck me about the article’s concluding message was that in this over-mediated culture, the arts punch well above their weight  – ‘you just need to put on great exhibitions serve super coffee, get your staff to smile, then unplug the computers (because you can be a nerd at home)…’ (1)

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Published in Photoworks, Issue 6, 2006
Commissioned by Photoworks.

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