David Chandler

Professor of Photography

David's interest in photography began within the context of art history and has been developed since 1982 through various curatorial roles in museums and galleries. Now he works principally as a writer, editor and curator, in the fields of contemporary photography, photographic history and the visual arts. This work often stems from a close association with photographers, artists and organisations, either professionally as a commissioner of projects, or more generally as a participant in the processes of making and thinking about work. Collaboration is, therefore, an important principle and activity in all David's work, as is an enthusiasm for cross-disciplinary projects that bring together distinct disciplines and experiences.

These ideas were a driving force behind his role as Director of Photoworks from 1997 to 2010, where, among other things, David initiated a major series of site-based commissions and over thirteen years worked closely with a range of very different photographers and artists. The ideas have also informed David's activities as a publisher of photographic books, especially at Photoworks, and David has developed a particular interest in the practice and process of book making, something underpinned by the firm belief in the book as a primary site for the photographic image.

David’s recent writing has included several essays on the work of Paul Graham, in particular the extended essay ‘A Thing There Was That Mattered…’ commissioned for Graham’s survey monograph published by SteidlMack to coincide with a career spanning retrospective at the Folkwang Museum, Essen in 2009. More recently David was commissioned by Tate Publishing to write the text for a major monograph on the work of another British photographer, Peter Fraser, published in January 2013 to coincide with Fraser’s retrospective exhibition at Tate St Ives.

Other recent essays include:

‘Vile Bodies’, in Anna Fox, Photographs 1983-2007, Photoworks, 2008

Incompletion in Dryden Goodwin: Cast, (Ed: David Chandler), Photoworks/Steidl, 2009

‘Stephen Vaughan: A Catfish Sleeps’, in New Photography: Pavilion Commissions, Pavilion, Leeds, 2009

‘Light, Space and Dark Materials: Walking with a landscape photographer’, in Jem Southam: Clouds Descending, Lowry, Manchester, 2009

‘Time After Time: Paul Graham ‘s Beyond Caring’, in Paul Graham: Beyond Caring, Errata Editions, (reprint), 2011

‘Weightless Light’, in Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance, Aperture, 2011

‘Dispatches from the Littoral: notes on landscape, place, memory and belonging’, in Transformed Land, Gulbenkian

Foundation, Paris, 2011

‘Seeing in the Dark’, in Helen Sear: Inside The View, Ffotogallery, Cardiff, 2012

‘Fractured Beauty and Photography’s Failing Sight’ in Ori Gersht: Still and Forever, Brand New Gallery, Milan, 2012

‘Ian Jeffrey’, in Fifty Key Writers On Photography, Routledge, 2013

“Pictures from the Real World’, in David Moore: Pictures from the Real World, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2013

Recent Public Talks/Lectures

March 2013 Peter Fraser in Context, Tate St Ives, (Day Symposium)

June 2012 New British Colour in the 1980s, Le Bal, Paris

January 2011 In conversation with Susan Derges and Garry Fabian Miller; Victoria & Albert Museum, London

May 2010 Commissioning Photography, Next-Photography, Essen, Germany.

January 2010 New British Photography, La Triennale di Milano, Design Museum, Milan.

January 2010 In conversation with Ori Gersht, Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton

November 2009 In conversation with Martin Parr and Grayson Perry, LCC, University of the Arts, London.

November 2009 Robert Adams, Award lecture at the Ceremony for the 2009 Hasselblad Award, Gothenburg, Sweden

October 2009 In conversation with Mitch Epstein, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

October 2009 In conversation with Helen Sear, Hooper’s Gallery, London

March 2009 In conversation with Paul Graham, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

March 2009 Stills Moving: Interrupting the Real World, Chair of Panel Discussion with Emily Richardson, Dryden Goodwin and Ori Gersht, Animation Breakdown Study Day, Tate Modern, London

October 2008 In conversation with Dryden Goodwin, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Professional Award Committees:

2001 Citibank Photography Prize, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

2003 Jerwood Photography Awards, Portfolio, Edinburgh

2006 Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London

2007/8 Hasselblad Award, Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg, Sweden

2008/09 Chair, Hasselblad Award, Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg, Sweden

2009 And/or Book Award, (formerly Kraszna-Krausz Award), London

2009 Photoworks Fellowship, British School at Rome

2009/10 Riccardo Pezza Award. Museum of Contemporary Photography, Milan

2013 Prize Architekturbild (European Architectural Photography Award), Stuttgart.