Christopher Stewart (artist)
Christopher Stewart (born 1966, in London) is a visual artist and educator in the fields of art. As of 2008, he served as Associate Professor of Photography in the School of Creative Media at RMIT University and subsequently from 2012 as Associate Professor in Photography in the School of Design at the University of Technology Sydney.
Stewart graduated with an MA in Photography in 1998 from the Royal College of Art where he was the recipient of the London Photographers' Gallery RCA Student Award. Following graduation, he was represented by the London gallery Gimpel Fils. Work that was developed from an initial series of photographs made whilst at the Royal College was later exhibited at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, and the Whitechapel Gallery in London as well as other international venues.
Stewart's work is concerned with hierarchies of vision, surveillance and contested territories. From the 1990s to the mid-2000s he examined the global phenomenon of privatised global security – using this modern hyper-industry as a metaphor for analysing global insecurity. Subsequent projects from the mid-2000s have included Kill House, an analysis of US based disciplinary vernacular structures used for the training of private special-forces prior to deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan and Super Border, photographs taken along the route of the newly opened 300 million euro External Integrated Vigilance System on the southern Andalucian coast in Spain.
Solo exhibitions include Super Border at Gimpel Fils, London 2009; Observations at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool 2006; International Sponsorship Program at Art Cologne in 2001; Imago 2000 at the Palacio de Abrantes Salamanca, Spain 2000.
Group exhibitions include Sea of Promise for F/STOP Festival, Leipzig 2012; ; Darkside II curated by Urs Stahel at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland 2009; Kill House, Theatres of War, Kraków Photomonth, Poland 2007; Observations at Open Eye Gallery Liverpool 2006; Contemporary Complexities, Martin Z. Marguilies Gift at the Samuel P. Harn Museum, University of Florida 2007; Something That I'll Never Really See (Photography from the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection) at the SCVA 2007; Fabula curated by Patrick Henry at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford 2003; Suspendidos at the Canal de Isobel II Gallery in Madrid 2001.
Publications and catalogues
- 1998 Creative Camera Artists’ Pages Oct/Nov ISSN 0011-0876
- 1999 Portfolio Magazine # 30 ISSN 1354-4446
- 2000 Big Torino catalogue, Turin, ISBN 88-7180-300-0
- 2000 EAST International catalogue ISBN 1-872482-22-8
- 2000 Imago 2000 catalogue, Salamanca ISBN 84-7800-924-8
- 2001 EXIT Magazine #1 ‘Crimes & Misdemeanours’ ISSN 1577-2721
- 2001 International Sponsorship Programme Art Cologne catalogue ISBN 3-929769-89-1
- 2003 Fabula exhibition catalogue, National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, ISBN 0-948489-22-7
- 2003 Christopher Stewart, essays by Mike Davis and Joanna Lowry, catalogue published by Centro de Arte de Salamanca, ISBN 84-95719-41-X
- 2004 Five: curated by GavinTurk – The Labyrinth of the Gaze, ISSN 1477-6774
- 2004 Portfolio Magazine, essay by Patrick Henry ISSN 1354-4446
- 2004 The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames & Hudson World of Art Series edited by Charlotte Cotton, ISBN 0-500-20380-6
- 2005 Insecurity, Seesaw Magazine, edited by Aaron Schuman
- 2007 Kill House, Kraków Photomonth catalogue
- 2008 Super Border, Source Photographic Review, UK
- 2009 Darkside II, Fotomuseum Winterthur/Steidl Press ISBN 978-3-86521-925-1
- 2009 The Photograph as Contemporary Art 2nd ed., Thames & Hudson World of Art Series, ed. by Charlotte Cotton, ISBN 978-0-500-20401-6
- 2010 Langford's Basic Photography Ninth Edition, Focal Press, ISBN 978-0-240-52035-3
- 2011 The Critical Dictionary, Black Dog Publishing, ed. David Evans ISBN 978-1-907317-49-1
Curating and writing
Stewart curated the group exhibition Private at the Hockney Gallery whilst a student at the Royal College of Art in 1997 which included the work of Clare Strand and Maggie Lambert. He curated Infraliminal at Stills Gallery for the Edinburgh Fringe in 2001 which was reviewed in The Guardian and included the work of Rut Blees Luxemburg, Sophy Rickett and Juan Delgado.
He has curated and written exhibition introductions for a number of shows for university galleries including Edition, an exhibition of sixty prototype and dummy books at the University of Brighton during the Brighton Photo Biennial 2006 and a group exhibition at RMIT's School of Creative Media Project Space in 2008. His most recent catalogue essay was commissioned from the Krackow International Photomonth Festival in Poland in 2010. The Festival's focus was on British Photography and included exhibitions by John Stezaker and Tony Ray Jones and the focus of Stewart's essay was an analysis of the last decade of British photography.
From 2008, Stewart directed visual art departments in Australia, first at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne and subsequently at the National Art School in Sydney. In 2012 he joined the University of Technology Sydney's School of Design as Associate Professor in Photography.
From 2004 he was Principal Lecturer and foundation head of the academic area of Photography, Moving Image and Sound at the University of Brighton until 2008. At the University of Brighton, he was also Program Director of the MA in Photography.
From 1994, Stewart taught practice, history and theory in London as a sessional academic including at the Royal College of Art, Tisch School of Art International Program London, the University of Westminster and London Guildhall University. He was subsequently Program Director of the BA (Hons) Photography degree at the Kent Institute of Art and Design.
Whilst at the University of Brighton, Stewart developed a collaborative talks programs with Brighton-based Photoworks and invited photographers, curators and writers to the University to talk to students and public including such guests as Charlotte Cotton and Chanarin & Broomberg. In Sydney, Stewart worked closely with the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in initiating the inaugural Australasian Postgraduate Photography Symposium and also the six-week Photography Seminar series, both in 2012. In Melbourne, Stewart initiated the joint RMIT University and Center for Contemporary Photography talks series 'Documentary Positions' that included such guests as Mark Power (VP of Magnum Photos UK & Commonwealth) and Gerry Simpson (Visiting Professor of Public International Law at the London School of Economics and Chair of Law at the University of Melbourne Law School & Director of the Global Justice Studio).
- Victoria and Albert Museum Collection reference page http://collections.vam.ac.uk/exhibition/3309-something-that-ill-never-really-see-contemporary-photograph/260/
- "RMIT researcher takes the long walk". RMIT. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Source Photographic Review, issue 56 Autumn 2008 http://www.source.ie/archive/issue56/Christopher_Stewart_page_21_52_57_11-01-11.php
- "Christopher Stewart". Gimpel Fils. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Davis, Mike (2002). "Christopher Stewart and the Wages of Fear". Seesaw Magazine. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Mahoney, Elisabeth (9 August 2001). "Infraliminal". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2012.