Dr Alexandra Moschovi

Dr Alexandra Moschovi

Lecturer in Photographic History and Theory
Department of Photography, Video and Digital Imaging
BA, MA and PhD supervision 


i) Interests

Set against the context of postmodernism, my doctoral thesis concentrated on the institutionalisation of photography per se in the 1970s and 1980s, exploring how its belated accommodation in the modern/contemporary art museum ushered in an ontological reassessment not only of its properties as an art practice, but also of the museum’s foundational principles. This analysis was pursued through opposing case studies, namely the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Media Museum. With research grants awarded by the University of London, Sunderland University and the British Academy, this project has acquired a contemporary as well as international scope, integrating examples drawn from diverse art institutions in Europe and the United States, such as MoMA and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Folkwang Museum (Essen), the Maison Européene de la Photographie and Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea (Milan) and Fotomuseum (Winterthur).

As a researcher of the International Photography Research Network (www.theiprn.org), an initiative of the Photography Video and Digital Imaging Department of the University of Sunderland that links the work of art schools, practitioners, academic institutions, museums, galleries and archives internationally, I was actively involved into the delivery of the E.U. funded programme Changing Faces. Under the general umbrella of the visualisation of the changing nature and (in)visibility of work, I concentrated on two publication projects and a conference that looked into:

a) the iconic and ideologically charged images that have constituted the commonplaces of representations of working people and people at work in distinct historical moments in nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (see, “The Face of Labour” in Work II, 2007); and

b) the ideological premises that have informed diverse notions of Otherness in different historically and socially specific cultural frameworks, juxtaposing nineteenth century anthropological and ethnographic photographs with contemporary representations of the Other (see, “Distance and Proximity” in Work, 2007).

In 2005, I was commissioned by Melissa Publications (Athens) to research and co-edit the photographic material for a volume that would combine the visualisation of the history of modern Greece with the historicisation of Greek photography, from the 1850s to the present. Entitled Greece through Photographs, the book was published in Greek in December 2007 and in English in September 2009.

This research provided a fruitful ground for other research projects on the History of Greek Photography, such as the commission by the Benaki Museum, Athens to contribute to the accompanying publication of the retrospective exhibition of the Harissiadis Archive (one of the largest collection of negatives and photographs of the post-war reconstruction of Greece), which took place in February 2009.

In 2008, I was also awarded a Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellowship by the Committee of Hellenic Studies at Princeton University to pursue the project “Redefining Greekness in Photographic Representations of Greece, c. 1930s-1960s: The Case of Alison Frantz”. A classicist who photographed the Agora excavations in Athens from 1933 to 1968 for the American School of Classical Studies at Princeton and Cultural Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Athens from 1946 to 1949, Alison Frantz also captured the Greek vernacular. Cross-examining the contentions, commonalities and possible interrelations between her work and selected local case studies, it is possible to deduct how morphological elements, thematic choices, imported loans and folkloric references stand for, in each instance, an historically and socially defined ideologeme of Greekness. The aim of this research is an exhibition and a publication of a monograph on this is largely unpublished material.

Since 2009, I have been looking into issues of authenticity and credibility, subjectiveness and sentimentality, crudeness and amateurization in relation to current photographic practices and their presence on Web 2.0.


ii) Selected conference papers and public lectures

2010            36th AAH Annual Conference, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK (April):
“The Authentic Snap? D.I.Y. Reporting in the Age of We Media”

                       Transforming Culture in the Digital Age, Estonian National Museum, Tartu, Estonia (April): “Trans/forming Museum Narratives: The Accommodation of Photography 2.0 in Contemporary Exhibitions” (collaboration with A. Galani)

                       Modern Greek Studies seminar, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London, UK (January): “Re-imag(in)ing Arcadia: The Photographic Representation of Relief and Rehabilitation Programmes in Greece, 1944-1946”

2009 Private Eyes: Amateur Photography and Collective History, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (November): “A Democracy of Images? The Accommodation/Assimilation of Amateur Imagery in the Museum” (collaboration with A. Galani)

Photography and International Conflict, UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies, Dublin, Ireland (June): “No Control: Reporting the Greek Riots in the Age of Social Networking Media”

Mapping the City, postgraduate course, Hellenic Studies Department, Princeton University, Athens, Greece (June): “Tales of Urbanity in Contemporary Greek Photography”

                       Modern Greek Studies lecture series, Hellenic Studies Department, Princeton University, Princeton, U.S.A. (February): “A Sudden Gust of Photophilia?: The Rebranding of Photography in the Museum”

2008              Modern Greek Studies lecture series, Hellenic Studies Department, Princeton University, Princeton, U.S.A. (May): “Tales of Urbanity in Contemporary Greek Photography” 

34rd AAH Annual Conference, Location: The Museum, the Academy and the Studio, Tate Gallery, London, UK (April): Co-convenor of the session “Relocations: Photography Within, Across and Outside the Museum since the 1970s”

2007                             Courtauld Institute of Art, Colour Photography: From Autochrome to Cibachrome, London, UK (November): “The Colour of Politics or the Politics of Colour?: The Reinvention of British Documentary Photography in the 1980s”

5th Conference on the History of Greek Photography, Kithira, Greece (September): “‘Near Documentary’: Certainties and Ambiguities”

                        33rd Annual Conference, Association of Art Historians, Contestations, Belfast, N. Ireland (April):  “Changing Places: The Rebranding of Photography as Contemporary Art”

                        University of Leiden, Work symposium, Leiden, the Netherlands (March): “The Archaeology of Labour”

2006            University of Jyvaskyla, Shifts, Jyvaskyla, Finland (October): “Shifting Identities: The Museumification of Documentary Photography”

2005            Museum of Modern Art, New York, When was Modern Art? A Contemporary Question, New York, U.S.A (April): “Who’s Afraid of Contemporary Art: The Metamorphosis of Tate Gallery in the Postmodern Period”

2002            1st Conference on the History of Greek Photography, Kithira (October): “The (In)decisive Moment: Documentary Photography in Greece in the 1980s”

2001            Courtauld Institute of Art, Association of Art Historians, London, UK
(November): “Redefining Tradition: The Institutionalization of British Documentary Photography as Art in the 1980s”


 iii) Selected publications: books, essays and articles

2010 “Re-Imag(in)ing Arcadia: British Intervention in the Post-War Reconstruction of Greece, c. 1945-1946” in Greece and Britain since 1945, ed. David Wills, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Publishing

2009 Introduction to Realities and Plaucibilities: Re-enacting Realism in Contemporary Photographic Art, Athens: Xippas Gallery

Introduction to John Stathatos, Airs, Waters, Places, Athens: Doukas

“The Pure and Unmediated Photography” in Dimitris Harissiadis, ed. Georgia Imsiridou, Athens: Benaki Museum

2008 “Changing Places: The Rebranding of Photography as Contemporary Art” in Photography between Poetry and Politics: The Critical Position of The Photographic Medium in Contemporary Art, eds Hilde Van Gelder and Helen Westgeest, Leuven: Leuven University Press/Cornell University Publications

                        “Stories of Displacement” in Pavlos Kozalidis: Searching for a Lost Homeland, ed. Georgia Imsiridou, Athens: Benaki Museum, pp. 101-106

2007             I Ellada mesa apo ti Fotografia: 160 Chronia Optikes Martyries (Greece through Photographs), eds Alexandra Moschovi and Aliki Tsirgialou, Athens: Melissa, (English edition 2009)

“The Face of Labour” in Work II, ed. Bas Vroege, Amsterdam: Veenan, pp. 138-147

“Distance and Proximity” in Work, ed. Alex Moh, Kuala Lumpur: National Gallery of Malaysia

“Photographie, photographies et le photographique: entre images, moyens d’expression et contextes” in The Athens Effect : L’image photographique dans l’art contemporain, ed. Theophilos Tramboulis, exhibition catalogue, Paris: Maison Européenne de la Photographie, pp. 13-22

“Picturing Deviance” in Arabella Plouviez, Deviant Woman, Sunderland: University of Sunderland, pp. 44-53

2006             “Photography, Photographies and the Photographic: Between Media, Images, Media, Contexts” in The Athens Effect: Photographic Images in Contemporary Art, ed. Theophilos Tramboulis, exhibition catalogue, Milan: Fondazione Mudima, pp. 13-22

2005                        “A Note on Definition”, Source (UK), no. 45, Winter, pp. 8-9
“An Arm’s Length Policy for Photography”, Source, no. 45, Winter,
pp. 16-21
“Policy in Action: The Case of Ten.8”, Source, no. 45, Winter, pp. 22-23

2004                        “Coincidences and Constructs: Interpretations of the Everyday” in                                     Photosynkyria 2004, exhibition catalogue, Thessaloniki: The Museum of                                     Photography, pp.144-147

2003                            “Constructing the Landscape”, introduction to Yiorgis Yerolymbos, Terza                         Natura, exhibition catalogue, Athens: a.antonopoulou.art Gallery, np.

2000                  “(Un)familiar City”, introduction to the 7th International Month of                                     Photography in Athens, exhibition catalogue, Athens: Hellenic Centre of                                     Photography, pp. 12-27

1998                             Introductionto 16 Young Greek Photographers 1998, exhibition catalogue,                         Athens: Hellenic Centre for Photography, pp. 34-35


iv) Research funding

2008-2009            Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellowship, Hellenic Studies Department, Princeton University, Princeton, U.S.A. (December 2008-February 2009)

2007-2008            Research grant, British Academy, for the project The Photographic Arts and the Transmedia Museum, c. 1985-2005 to cover the expenses of five research trips in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and the United States, London, UK (September 2007 -September 2008)

2002             Research grant, Central Research Grant, University of London, to cover the expenses of a two-month research trip to the United States, London, UK (July- September 2002)

2000–2004            Full PhD studentship, State Scholarship Institution, Athens, Greece (October 2000-March 2004)


Selected reviews

2008            “Fruit of the Subcommittee: No Such Thing as Society, by David A. Mellor”, book review, Source, no. 55, Summer 2008, pp. 22-23

2007                   “The Burden of Self-consciousness, exhibition review, a: The Athens Contemporary Art Review, no. 13, May-June, 2007, pp. 24-33, http://www.athensartreview.org/bissues/en/a-issue13_en.pdf

2006           “Rooms to Let”, exhibition review, a: The Athens Contemporary Art Review, no. 4, May, 2006, pp. 16-23, http://www.athensbiennial.org/pages/a-issue4_en.pdf

“Beyond the Object and the Subject of Defiance”, book review, a: The Athens Contemporary Art Review, no. 3, April, 2006, pp. 6-7, http://www.athensbiennial.org/pages/a-issue3_en.pdf

“Roger Fenton”, exhibition review, The Burlington Magazine (UK), no. 1234, January 2006


Curatorial and editorial experience

2009 Curator, exhibition Realities and Plaucibilities, Xippas Gallery, Athens, Greece

2004 Curator, exhibition Topo-graphies, a.antonopoulou.art Gallery, Athens, Greece

2004 Co-curator, Photosynkyria Festival 2004 organised by the Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki, Greece

2000            Artistic director of the 7th International Month of Photography in Athens, Greece

1999-2000            Editor, The Notebooks of Photography, an anthology of seminal theoretical texts on photography, Athens, Greece

1997-2001            Editor, Photographia Magazine (periodical published since 1978), Athens, Greece

1995-1996            Full-time editor-in-chief, art photography section, Photographos magazine (monthly periodical published since 1990), Athens, Greece


Editorial, advisory and review board positions

2010            Member of the external advisory board of Rebus, London, University of Essex, UK

2006- 2008            Member of the external advisory board of a, the Athens contemporary art review, Athens, Greece

2004-2005            Member of the editorial board, Immediations journal, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK
2001-2003            Member of the advisory committee for the 8th and 9th International Month of Photography in Athens, annual international festival organised by the Hellenic Centre of Photography, Athens, Greece



Greek, French, German (reading only)