Bird: An exhibition of work from the 2023 MA Photography course at the University of Portsmouth

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


The capacity of representational systems to convey things as somehow apparent or natural, rather than conventional or cultural, forms the basis of ideology. Photography plays a particularly powerful role in this process since it appears to show things as they are, whilst never actually doing this. “A message without a code” as Roland Barthes famously put it.

The title and poster for this exhibition are intended to make this point. A seemingly asinine statement of the obvious that serves to illustrate that neither photography nor language are ever as simple or straightforward as they seem.

Each of these artists is striving to utilise such complexities as a means of research and exploration, producing work that acknowledges and makes use of the duplicitous nature of photography, rather than succumbing to it. This has resulted in an impressive diversity of approaches, incorporating processes and technologies that span the history of the medium, from silver halide to CGI. The themes covered are equally diverse, from deeply personal projects to ecological and even ontological enquiry. In every case photography is employed as a means to work through ideas, to propose questions and to raise awareness.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherJack House Gallery, Portsmouth
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2023
EventBird: MA Photography Exhibition, University of Portsmouth 2023 - Jack House Gallery, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Aug 202325 Aug 2023


  • photography, MA, bird

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