Olga Smith

Dr. Olga Smith

Olga Smith

Humboldt University Postdoctoral Fellow

Olga Smith is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Humboldt University. The title of her postdoctoral project is ‘National territories: the politics and aesthetics of photographic representations of landscape in Germany, France and Italy, from the 1980s to the present’.
She has previously held positions at the University of St Andrews (2011-2012) and Tate Gallery, London (2012-2014). Olga is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where she obtained her BA (2005) and Mphil (2006) in the department of Modern and Medieval Languages. Olga’s doctoral thesis, prepared in the department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge (2008-2011), was devoted to the study of the photographic practices and critical approaches to photography in France since the 1970s. In conjunction with this research she has held a visiting fellowship at the École normale supérieure, Paris and an Entente Cordiale scholarship, awarded by the French Embassy in the UK. Olga is the co-founder of Ph, UK-wide photography research network: https://www.ph-research.net/



  • Smith, Olga (forthcoming in 2017). ‘Making Visible: Urban Periphery in the Works of Mohamed Bourouissa, Mathieu Pernot and Tobias Zielony’, Journal of European Studies. Special Issue: Europe in Photography Today
  • Smith, Olga (forthcoming in 2017). ‘Authorless pictures: photography in Christian Boltanski’s early work (1969-1975)’, Art History
  • Smith, Olga (forthcoming I 2016), ‘Beyond medium specificity of photography: the case of tableau’, in Dmitri Novikov (ed.), O chem mi govorim kogda mi govorim o fotografii (Moscow: MVS)
  • Smith, Olga (forthcoming in 2016),‘Plaines et platitudes : les réinventions du paysage photographique dans l’œuvre de Jean-Marc Bustamante et Joachim Brohm’, dans Nathalie Boulouch, Pierre-Henry Frangne, Patricia Limido-Heulot (dir.), Les inventions photographiques du paysage, du XIXe siècle à nos jours (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes)
  • Smith, Olga and Dina Gusejnova. Die Ästhetik des Zastoi. Boris Mikhailov als Fotograf des letzten sowjetischen Jahrzehnts, Fotogeschichte, No. 136, Vol. 35, Summer 2015, pp. 43-51
  • Smith, Olga. 2014. The spaces of containment: Valérie Jouve’s urban portraits’, Nottingham French Studies, 53.2, pp. 155-168
  • Smith, Olga. 2012. Pierre Huyghe’s travels with Edgar Allan Poe, in Jörg von Brincken, Ute Gröbel and Irina Schulzki, Fictions/Realities. New Forms and Interactions (München: Martin Meidenbauer), pp. 85-100
  • Smith, Olga. 2011. Hoaxer’s voyage: Pierre Huyghe’s A Journey that wasn’t, in Manon Mathias, Maria O’Sullivan, Ruth Vorstman (eds.), Display and Disguise (Oxford: Peter Lang), pp. 205-222
  • Smith, Olga, Peter Collier and Anna Elsner (eds). 2009. Anamnesia: Private and Public Memory in Modern French Culture (Oxford: Peter Lang)
  • Smith, Olga. 2009. “A hollow image of the person”: objects of memory in the art of Christian Boltanski, in Smith, Collier and Elsner (eds), Anamnesia: Private and Public Memory in Modern French Culture (Oxford: Peter Lang), pp. 117-130



22-24 June 2016 ‘Museum as Cinema, Cinema as Museum: Time-based Exhibition Practices in the Work of Philippe Parreno’, international conference Rethinking the Medium. Matter, Techniques, and Transmission in Contemporary Art and Cinema, Institut national de l’histoire de l’art, Paris
26-27 Feb 2015 ‘‘Amener la photographie au tableau’: les paysages photographiques dans l’œuvre de Jean-Marc Bustamante’. Conference Les inventions photographiques du paysage, du XIXe siècle à nos jours, University of Rennes II
19-21 Feb 2015 ‘Measuring the Human’, Chair. Workshop Hybrid Photography: Intermedial Practices in Sciences and Humanities, Humboldt University, Berlin
11-13 Dec 2014 ‘Beyond medium specificity: the case of tableau photography’. Conference What do we talk about when we talk photography?, Multimedia Art Museum Moscow, Moscow
22 October 2014 ‘Arrêt sur l’image dans le flux urbain : photographie et vidéo contemporaines,’ conference Tableau vivant, la politique de l’interruption. Université Paris 1, France
18 Sept 2014 Chair, panel On Russian Landscapes, with Paul Wombell, Maria Gruzdeva and Andreas Schonle. The Photographers Gallery, London, UK
10-14 April 2014 ‘Beyond medium specificity: Jean-Marc Bustamante’s photography,’ AAH 2014 conference. Royal College of Art, London, UK
2-4 October 2013 with Dr Dina Gusejnova. ‘The aesthetics of zastoi: the social production of the amateur in the last Soviet decade,’ conference Photography in the Russian Empire & Soviet Union. German Historical Institute, Moscow, Russia
2012-2013 with Dr Dina Gusejnova, curator of the strand ‘The Social Medium’ for the online project Either/And, commissioned by National Media Museum, Bradford and Media Space, London, UK
22 June 2013 Chair, panel Photographs/Pictures, with Jean-Marc Bustamante, Joanna Lowry and Tamara Trodd. Tate Modern, London, UK
6-7 September 2013 ‘Christian Boltanski’s conceptual photo-books,’ conference Spaces of the book: materials and agents of the image/text creation in 20 and 21 centuries. Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK
15 June 2012 ‘‘L’image performée’ in French contemporary photography,’ conference Photography in Contemporary France. Nottingham University, UK
20 February 2012 ‘Atlas of the world: photographic archive in contemporary photography,’ public talk. Stills Photography Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
6-8 July 2011 ‘Film as a scenario for an exhibition in the work of Philippe Parreno,’ conference Moving Image and Institution: Cinema and the Museum in the 21st Century. University of Cambridge, UK
15-16 Sept. 2010 ‘Édouard Levé’s photography as ‘writing degree zero’,’ conference Making in Two Modes Conference. University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
25 May 2010 ‘Contemporary photography in France,’ public lecture. The British Council, Paris, France
24-26 July 2008 Co-organiser of the international conference The French Connection: New Perspectives on French Contemporary Art. University of Cambridge, UK