Why do pictures matter? with Peter Lord.
For two hundred years it was a received wisdom, handed down by highest authorities, that Wales was devoid of a visual culture. Welsh people were, for some unspecified reason, congenitally unvisual. Beginning in the 1980s, Peter Lord sought to demonstrate how this notion could be understood as an aspect of a broader cultural imperialism. It didn’t make him popular with the establishment. When a debate was organised at Chapter in 1992 to discuss the policies of the Art Department of the National Museum, the Director contacted the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in an attempt to stop the event. A cartoon appeared in the Bulletin of the Welsh Academy, showing a gibbet erected at the front of the Museum: ‘I’ve heard there’s going to be a hanging …’
Twenty one years later, Peter Lord returns to Chapter to continue the broader debate. In his new book, Relationships with Pictures: An Oblique Autobiography, he discusses why pictures matter, in terms of the networks of human relationships within which they are made, and through which they affect our lives.
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