Benjamim Picado

Tuesday 9 June 2015, 6pm, Room B01, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

In this talk, Picado addresses the problem of pictorial systems underlying representation of historical eventfulness in photojournalism, in the context of debated claims about “indexicality” as hallmark of photographic general meaningfulness. while positioning against vindications of “pure” kinds of indexicality that typifies traditional theories of photography. He also questions the arguing strategies of new theories of photography that are mainly sustained by claims about the “artistic agency” of photographic practices. The depiction of actualities is an issue that requires a pragmatic account of visual meaningfulness, thus dependent on the interactions between images and the “beholder’s share”. In so considering, he analyses photographic depiction by means of the stylistic constraints of straightforwardness in visual presentation and two-dimensional composition, as requirements for the virtual immersive involvement of viewers, and also as operators of a narrative sense of indexicality.

Dr Benjamim Picado is a full associate professor in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the Graduate Program in Communications at Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He directs the Group of Research in Analysis of Photography, Visual and Graphic Narratives (GRAFO/NAVI), in which context, he explores the expressive materials of contemporary visual media culture (visual discourses and narrative depiction in photojournalism, visual poetics in comics and graphic novels), with special attention to the methodological models for the analyses of visual discourse (Semiotics, Iconology, Visual Aesthetics and History of Art). He is the author of O Olho Suspenso do Novecento: plasticidade e discursividade visual no fotojornalismo moderno (Rio de Janeiro, Azougue/FAPERJ:2014). Currently a Visiting Fellow at Birkbeck, he is developing his project on the visual representation of conflicts in contemporary Brazil’s photojournalism. Personal homepage: