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Course content

Led by Professor Olivier Richon, the Photography programme at the RCA aims to provide a critical and educational environment in which students can develop as artists with photography at the core of their practice.

Our approach to photography relates to practices and theories of contemporary art, rather than to those of media and communication. We have a fluid approach to image making; whether still or moving, analogue or digital, the photographic image is for us a visual form that aims to be thoughtful as well as playful: an allegorical and thoroughly visual form.

The programme understands photography as a medium with no fixed identity. This disregard for a fixed essence is photography’s strength: no aesthetic purity but a multiplicity of rhetorical forms used for the creation of fact, fiction and fantasy.

Equally, the boundary between the still and the moving image is now fluid and porous, enabling new forms of image making to be created. We therefore also welcome applicants who work with film, video and installation.

An informed practice of photography acknowledges the heterogeneous traditions of fine art and visual culture. It also engages with practices of reading and writing about the image. Here, theory and practice inform each other and this dialogue characterises committed study at postgraduate level.

The Photography programme occupies purpose-built studio space at the RCA’s Battersea campus, alongside the other School of Fine Art programmes.

The programme offers:

  • tutorials, seminars, lectures and group critiques by leading practitioners and thinkers
  • practices of representation that engage with the still and the moving image as well as performance and installation
  • specialist digital and analogue facilities for large-format colour and black-and-white exhibition prints
  • research work on the relation between image and language
  • the formulation of aesthetic questions that relate to the students’ practice
  • high-profile alumni

Visit the Photography - MA page on the Royal College of Art website for more details!

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