Tanenbaum Lecture with Nathalie Herschdorfer

Deborah Turbeville, Maria Luisa Hernandez, Pozos, Guanajuato, Mexico, 1992, gelatin silver print. The Image Centre, Gift of Eric Berthold, 2017 © Deborah Turbeville/MUUS Collection

Deborah Turbeville: Beyond Fashion
Tanenbaum Lecture with Nathalie Herschdorfer

Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 6 pm

The Image Centre (IMC)
33 Gould Street, Toronto
Lecture Room IMA-307 (third floor)

In the 1920s, fashion photography became a genre in its own right. Although originating in the commercial sphere, it also evolved at the hands of great artists. Over a career spanning 40 years, Deborah Turbeville developed a unique visual style, creating narrative photographs and collages that evoked her inner world. In this lecture, Nathalie Herschdorfer, Director of Photo Elysée (Lausanne, Switzerland), shares insights from her most recent exhibition and book Deborah Turbeville: Photocollage, which offers a new appreciation of Turbeville’s contribution to the history of photography.

Herschdorfer’s book Deborah Turbeville: Photocollage (2023) will be available for purchase at the event. Book signing to follow the lecture.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Otherworldly: Deborah Turbeville Photographs, on view at the IMC through April 6, 2024.

Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. No entry after 6:15 pm.

Otherworldly: Deborah Turbeville Photographs (opening night) © Clifton Li, The Image Centre, 2024

About the Exhibition

This exhibition from The Image Centre collection presents more than 40 photographic works spanning the innovative career of American photographer Deborah Turbeville (1932–2013), from her major fashion commissions of the 1970s to the more personal projects of her later years. Widely credited with evolving the editorial genre of fashion photography into an art form, Turbeville de-emphasized the clothed figure in her pioneering compositions, whose often-decaying settings reinforce their dreamlike atmosphere. Experimental techniques such as soft focus, the use of printing papers with varied tones and textures, distressing or tearing of the print, and the application of masking tape or other collage elements contribute to the photographs’ otherworldly aesthetic.

Photo courtesy of Nathalie Herschdorfer

About the Speaker

Nathalie Herschdorfer is a curator and art historian specializing in the history of photography. She is the Director of the museum Photo Elysée, the cantonal photography museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Before that, as Director of the Museum of Fine Arts Le Locle, she organized important shows featuring the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Stanley Kubrick, Vik Muniz, Alex Prager, Viviane Sassen, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Andy Warhol, amongst others. She is an active voice in contemporary photography and has been invited to organize numerous exhibitions outside Switzerland. She teaches the history of photography at the Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL) and is the author of several books, including: Body: The Photography Book (2019); Mount ains by Magnum Photographers (2019); The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography (2018); Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast (2012); and Afterwards: Contemporary Photography Confronting the Past (2011). Her most recent book is Deborah Turbeville: Photocollage (2023).


Also on View at the IMC

Stories from the Picture Press: Black Star Publishing Co. & The Canadian Press
Featuring more than thirty-five stories about historic events and personalities, this exhibition explores the important role of photo agencies during the heyday of print photojournalism. Drawing from The Image Centre’s famous Black Star press photography collection as well as the archive of Canada’s national news agency, The Canadian Press, the selection spans the twentieth century—from the British movement for women’s right to vote, through the Watts riots in Los Angeles, to the Oka Crisis in Quebec. Each story illuminates a different aspect of how photojournalists have worked to document the news and distribute their photographs for publication. Learn more

Special Exhibition Tour: Stories from the Picture Press
Gaëlle Morel and Rachel Verbin
Wednesday, March 27 | 6 pm

Media Sponsors: The Toronto Star and blogTO

Alexis Cordesse: Talashi
Talashi (Arabic for fragmentation, erosion, disappearance) is a video composition made up of personal photographs entrusted to French artist Alexis Cordesse by refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war, ongoing since 2011. Cordesse’s long, patient process of amassing intimate snapshots of family celebrations and quotidian activities challenges the never-ending flood of tragic and violent images produced and widely disseminated by the mainstream media. Learn more

Peyton Keeler-Cox: Questions Nobody Asked Me
In Questions Nobody Asked Me Peyton Keeler-Cox presents a series of photographs that connect to themes of memory, loss, grief, and care. Over many years, Keeler-Cox and her family developed a deep relationship with their neighbour, Roy Burkett. Before his passing, Roy entrusted the family with the management of his estate. It is here, in Roy’s home, that Keeler-Cox pays homage to the memory of this friendship, taking photographs of spaces and possessions, and herself in relationship with them, and him. Peyton was the last person to see Roy alive. In this touching project, her photographs aim to bring his memory back into the house’s bare rooms and insert her presence as the caretaker of his remembrances and stories. Learn more


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