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Irina Tolkachiova

Art historian, historian of photography. In 1998 Irina Tolkachiova graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design of the Lenin Moscow Pedagogical State University (Art History Department). Irina Tolkachiova teaches history of photography at the ’Photoplay’ photo studio, at the College of Cinematography, Television and Multimedia and at the ’Photograph’ photo school of the Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK). She has been teaching at the ’Free Workshops’ School since 2000.

The academic course History of Photography at the School of Contemporary Art comprises 14-15 lectures 2 hours each. No doubt, it is less than enough. Yet, quite enough to grasp the diversity of the photographic world and to figure out how the knowledge of its history could guide you through the contemporary visual culture and beyond.
Awareness of history of photography and current processes in it may help a beginning photo artist to see his own goals more precisely. During the course, students will get to know how photography helped to form a new vision of reality to see new ways to represent it, to reappraise facts and events. They will see photography as a powerful vehicle for spreading propaganda and a source of scandals, as a means to form a lifestyle and to see things in a different light. The history of photography is inseparable from many other processes in social history, including art, politics, ideology, science, life and manners, fashion, advertising, behavioural patterns, mass communications, perception of one’s own body and human relations. It is precisely upon all these issues, as seen through the history of photography, that this course dwells.