Mesa 01


Ghost Stories: Working from Collections

A workshop with Federico Clavarino

15th, 16th and 17th of June. 10am to 6pm

£95 Early Bird (Until 21st May 2018) / £120 (Standard fee)

ICVL members will enjoy a 25% discount from standard fee.


To book your place, send us an email info(at)

and we will facilitate you with payment details.



“I bought a garden, imagining that I was purchasing a simple space enclosed in walls; but it was not so at all: suddenly the space has become a garden full of ghosts, which were nowhere mentioned in the deed of sale. I like ghosts.”

(Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo)


In my photographic work I have often dealt with how the past and the present are locked in a perpetual dialogue. I believe that each present condition defines how a past event can be read, and that its reading will inevitably have an effect on the present. This means that the way we interact with archives and collections is dynamic, that it changes over time, and that we need to return to them again and again to question both the objects they contain as well as their organising principles. What’s more, collections, as history itself, are not continuous.

They are inhabited by hiatuses. Like in a family photo album or in a crime scene, most of the story isn’t there to be seen. We could say the same about every photograph. Every object that comes to us from the past is some kind of fossil, like an insect trapped in amber, the silent witness of something that happened. Every object is like a haunted house, inhabited by invisible presences that try to speak to us in some forgotten language.

Participants to this workshop will be invited to interact with one specific object or photograph from the British Empire and Commonwealth collection held at Bristol Archives. This will be the starting point of a photographic adventure which will end with a small exhibition in December at Bristol archives.






– Friday June 15 th

14:00 – 16:00: brief introduction and assignment of objects to participants
18:30: public talk


– Saturday June 16 th

9.30 – 13:00: first exploration (image making)
14:30 – 17:00: group feedback and discussion
17:00 – 18:30: lecture


– Sunday June 17 th

9.30 – 13:00: second exploration (image making)
14:30 – 17:00: group critique and editing
17:00 – 18:30: first drafts of exhibition proposals






Federico Clavarino was born in Turin, Italy, in 1984, where he studied literature and creative writing at Alessandro Baricco’s Scuola Holden. He then moved to Madrid in 2007 and started studying documentary photography at BlankPaper Escuela (, where he currently teaches.

The Castle (Dalpine, 2016) is Clavarino’s fourth photobook, after La Vertigine (Fiesta Ediciones, 2010), Ukraina Passport (Fiesta Ediciones, 2011) and Italia o Italia (Akina Books, 2014).

He defines his work as “originating from problems regarding location in space (vertigo, as in La Vertigine) and in time (nostalgia, as in Ukraina Pasport)”. He finds shelter in the Imaginary, shaping it through photography in an effort of reconstruction of the world, starting from meaningful fragments of it in order to make it inhabitable. There is no evident context, reality transcends and recreates itself through the sum of the images, through the relations that are established between them.


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