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Online Masterclass

How To Curate a Photography Exhibition with Simon Baker on Vimeo On Demand

Simon Baker, director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, explores the complex process of thinking about photography in three-dimensional gallery spaces. He offers insights into the various ways in which photography can be exhibited within institutional or public contexts in terms of both theoretically framed exhibitions, such as the Tate shows Conflict, Time, Photography and Shape of Light, and monographic exhibitions such as Ren Hang (Baker’s inaugural exhibition at MEP) or Masahisa Fukase at Arles.

Baker has worked both as a university lecturer in art history and curator, and in collaboration with artists including Coco Capitán, George Condo, Daido Moriyama, Boris Mikhailov and Taryn Simon, as well as many emerging artists in Europe, Japan and China. His masterclass covers both the practical and conceptual aspects of exhibition making.


Simon Baker has been director of Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) ( in Parissince May 2018. He was formerly senior curator of international art (photography) at Tate, London, having been appointed Tate’s first curator of photography in 2009; he was also an associate professor of art history at Nottingham University. He has published widely on both photography and the history of art including the monograph George Condo: Painting Reconfigured (Thames and Hudson, 2015). Recent publications on photography include essays for books on Coco Capitán, Hassan Hajjaj, Mari Katayama and Erwin Wurm.

Watch on Vimeo on Demand

Topics covered in class:

I. Books

Dawn Ades and Simon Baker – Undercover Surrealism: Georges Bataille and Documents. (MIT Press, 2006).

II. Exhibitions

Undercover Surrealism – Hayward Gallery, London (2006).
Close-Up. Proximity and defamiliarisation in Art, Film and Photography – The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2008).
New Documentary Forms – Tate Modern, London (2011).
Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII – Tate Modern, London (2011).
William Klein + Daido Moriyama – Tate Modern, London (2012).
Performing for the Camera (2016). Tate Modern, London.
The Radical Eye – Tate Modern, London (2017).
Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art – Tate Modern, London (2018).
Another Language – Église Sainte-Anne, Arles (2015).
Don McCullin: Looking Beyond the Edge – Église Sainte-Anne, Arles (2016).
Masahisa Fukase: The Incurable Egoist – Palais de L’Archevêché, Arles (2017).
Masahisa Fukase: Chromophotographic Game – Kyotographie, Fujifilm Square, Tokyo (2018).
Love, Ren Hang – MEP, Paris (2019).
Coco Capitán. Busy Living: Everything with everyone, everywhere, all of the time – MEP, Paris (2019).
Love, Ren Hang – C / O, Berlin (2019).
Moroccan House of Photography. Carte Blanche to Hassan Hajjaj – MEP, Paris (2019).
Yoonkyung Jang: Incandescence – MEP Studio, Paris (2019).
Marguerite Bornhauser: Moisson Rouge – MEP Studio, Paris (2019).
Adele Gratacos: Is It So Exhausting To Scrutinise The Invisible? – MEP Studio, Paris (2019).
Harley Weir: Walls – MEP Studio, Paris (2019).
Conflict, Time, Photography – Tate Modern, London (2014).

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