Schedule and Fee

Free but booking is essential
3-5pm Sun 20 May
Studio 6, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, 5-9 Temple Bar Street, Dublin 2
With thanks to TBG+S for kindly hosting the event

Who is this for?

This open talk is aimed at all those students, graduates, practitioners, Arts administrators, curators, and everyone else interested in discussing the current state of Photography in Ireland as a Arts practice.


The event aims to open a conversation around the current issues that the practice of Photography faces in Ireland. It follows a similar model to the open talk hosted during PhotoIreland Festival in 2010, when important issues were presented and discussed by all participants, informing many of our projects thereafter.

The model for this event is an open talk where all interested parties and audiences are invited to discuss current and future challenges, from education to curation, from public policy to research. At this open talk, all participants sit down facing each others in a circle, and no one has entitlements or power over anyone else. As part of the preparation process, everyone is welcome to propose questions, ideas, comments before the date of the event. These will be collected and ordered into areas of interest, then distributed amongst the participants two days before the event. If you are interested in contributing with your input, you can use this online form. To start the conversation, here are six of our many current concerns, to be added to the list and to excite your participation in the process.

In terms of Education,

  • Would educational organisations not benefit from better student numbers if a switch was completed from a darkroom focused 1900s technical approach to one that acknowledges the 21st century digital challenges in regards to the teaching of Photography?
  • How could the confusion between the teaching of Photography as a professional practice, brief based, and an artistic practice be eliminated or use to the students advantage?
  • Would the teaching of entrepreneurial mindsets not be a basic starting point for all artists, in so far as being self-employed?

In terms of Cultural Policy and Research,

  • Working with a medium that is perceived as friendly and ever present as the image in contemporary society, would the Arts in Ireland not benefit from public policy grants that motivate deeper curatorial engagement with the discipline?
  • Are programmes like Houston’s Literacy Through Photography not worth activating in Ireland?
  • What could be done to prevent curatorial stagnation in publicly funded organisations directly related to Photography?

This open talk is presented as part of our research Photography in Ireland: Policy & Practice beyond 2020, and it includes a brief presentation of that project.


Ángel Luis González

Ángel Luis González is CEO and Director of PhotoIreland Foundation, an organisation that promotes a critical engagement with Photography. Ángel won the David Manley Entrepreneur Award in 2011 for the PhotoIreland Festival. In 2013, he launched The Library Project, a cultural hub in Dublin city centre offering a growing photobook library, an eclectic Art bookshop and a productive gallery. He has been a portfolio reviewer at many international festivals and is responsible for books like ‘Martin Parr’s Best Books of the Decade’ in 2011, ‘New Irish Works’ in 2013, and the latest series of ‘New Irish Works’ in 2016. He was a contributor to Landskrona Foto 2016, focused on Irish Photography, and he lectures at the Fine Art Photography Master at IED Madrid.

Book your place →

About the Critical Academy

The Critical Academy opens up a new radical space where to learn, research and examine contemporary art practices around Photography and their contexts, as much as the arts management and cultural policy that affects them. The academy has been created by PhotoIreland Foundation in a bid to develop an educational space outside the traditional institutions where practitioners and theorists can gather to experiment and challenge contemporary ideas that affect their practice.

The Critical Academy offers a number of opportunities to actively participate in its programme, aiming at times at very specific backgrounds, with three main components: a new educational space for Seminars; group Research on key projects; professional Development and Support programmes for artists and Arts administrators.

The Critical Academy is a project by PhotoIreland Foundation. Find out more at