Victor Burgin


Since the late 1960s Victor Burgin’s work has established him as both a highly influential artist and a renowned theorist of the still and moving image.

Burgin first came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the originators of Conceptual Art. In the 1970s his work consisted mainly of large framed photographic sequences, involving printed texts either juxtaposed with or superimposed on the image. At the beginning of the 1990s he turned towards digital video, but video from the point-of-view of photography – for example, Burgin is particularly interested in the relation between stasis and movement. As the historian and critic Stephen Bann has written: ‘this progressive exploitation of new technologies is itself fairly uninteresting compared with the remarkable consistency of the underlying themes and propositions of his work’. (Stephen Bann: Victor Burgin’s Critical Topography, in Relocating, Bristol, Arnolfini, p. 50)

The philosopher Henri Bergson notes: ‘Perception is never a simple contact of the mind with the object present; it is completely impregnated with memory-images which complete and interpret it.’ Throughout Burgin’s work there is a constant attention to this space ‘between’ the viewer and the object – to the ‘real’ world as seen through the prism of narrative, memory and fantasy.

His works are in the collections of renowned museums such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate in London.


Born 1941 in Sheffield, England.

Lives and works in Somerset, UK and Paris, France.

Education and Teaching

1962 – 1965

Studies of Painting and Philosophy, The Royal College of Art, London, UK

1965 – 1967

Studies of Painting, Sculpture and Philosophy, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

1967 – 1973

Lecturer, Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, UK

1973 – 1988

Senior Lecturer, then Professor, Department of Film and Photography, Polytechnic of Central London, UK

1998 – 1995

Professor of Art History, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, USA

1995 – 2001

Professor of History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, USA

2001 – 2006

Millard Professor of Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK

2006 – 2020

Emeritus Millard Chair of Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK

Grants and Awards


Doctorat Honoris Causa, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium


Doctor of Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK (Hon. DUniv)


Robert Gwathmey Chair in Art and Architecture, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, USA


Soros Foundation Center for Culture and Communication, Budapest, Hungary


Artist in Residence, I.ME.RE.C (Institut Méditerranéen de Recherche et de Création), Marseille, France


International Artist in Residence, Film in the Cities, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA


Artist in Residence, Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Adelaide, Australia


Distinguished Visiting Scholar, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, USA


Artist in Residence, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


Picker Professor, Colgate University, New York, USA

1978 – 1979

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Fellow, Berlin, Germany

1976 – 1977

US/UK Bicentennial Arts Exchange Fellow, New York, USA

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023 – 2024

Victor Burgin. (Places), Centre Photographique d’Ile-de-France, Pontault-Combault, France

Victor Burgin. That, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France


Victor Burgin, Zander Paris, France (upcoming opening exhibition of the new gallery venue)


Victor Burgin. Island Flight, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany

2017 – 2018

Victor Burgin. Voyage to Italy, Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, Germany


Victor Burgin. Some Cities, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany


Victor Burgin. Prairie, Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, Chicago USA


Victor Burgin. Forms of Telling, Museum für Gegenwartkunst Siegen, Siegen, Germany


Victor Burgin. A Sense of Place, University of Westminster, London, UK

Victor Burgin. US 77, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany


Victor Burgin. Three decades, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, Germany


Dovedale, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany


Victor Burgin. Hôtel D., Le Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse, France

Victor Burgin. US 77 et The Little House, Fondation Brownstone, Paris, France

Victor Burgin. Travaux 1970-1984, Centre Régional de la Photographie Nord Pas-de- Calais, Douchy- les-Mines, France


Victor Burgin. Alle otto. Solito posto & Voyage to Italy, Galleria Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, Italy

Victor Burgin. Alle otto. Solito posto & Voyage to Italy, Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Milan, Italy

Victor Burgin. Nietzsche’s Paris and other Works, Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven, Germany

La Cinquième Promenade et Autres Oeuvres, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland

Fogliazzi, Galerie Art & Essai, Université Rennes 2 – Haute Bretagne, Rennes, France


Victor Burgin. Voyage to Italy, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada


Victor Burgin. Voyage to Italy, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany


Listen to Britain, Cordoaria Nacional, Torreão Nascente, LisboaPhoto, Lisbon, Portugal; Cornerhouse, Manchester and Norwich Gallery, Norwich, UK


Arnolfini, Bristol, England Watergate, Matt’s Gallery, London, UK


Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, Spain


Architectural Association, London, UK


Weimar 99 Cultural Festival, Weimar, Germany


Galerie Fotohof, Salzburg, Austria


Mücsarnok Museum, Budapest, Hungary


University at Buffalo Art Gallery/Research Center in Art + Culture, Buffalo, USA


Center for Research in Contemporary Art, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA


Musée d’art moderne Villeneuve d’Ascq, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France


Film in the Cities, St. Paul, Minnesota


Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

Kettles Yard, Cambridge, UK

Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland

Albert and Vera List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Illinois, USA


Impressions Gallery of Photography, York, UK


Zwiczek Polskich Artsow Fotografickow, Warsaw, Poland


DAAD Gallery, Berlin, Germany


Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK


Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands


Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 – 2024

This Is Me, This Is You. The Eva Felten Photography Collection, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany


Objects of Desire: Photography and the Language of Advertising, Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art (LACMA), USA


Emotion and Structure, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany


Enfermement, Musée d’art et d’histoire de Saint Denis, Paris


Barthes / Burgin, The Henry Moore Foundation, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, UK


(Mis)Understanding Photography – Works and Manifestos, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany


fALSEfAKES – VRAIFAUXSEMBLANTS, Centre de la Photographie, Geneva, Switzerland

2012 – 2013

Light Years. Conceptual art and the photograph, 1964-1977, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA


Year of Cooperation, Broadway 1602, New York, USA

Beyond Corrupted Eye, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland

Malerei in Fotografie, Staedel Museum, Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Spirits of Internationalism, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerps, Belgium


Underwood, Galerie 1900-2000, Paris

After the Gold Rush, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Hotel-Dieu, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland

CUT, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany


Lives and Works in Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

ATLAS, Museo National Centro de arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (travelled to ZKM, Karlsruhe and Deichtorhallen / Sammlung Harald Falckenberg, Hamburg, Germany)

WAREHOUSE#2 Victor Burgin “Love Stories #2”, WAREHOUSE, Cologne, Germany

Hotel-Dieu, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland


The 70s. Experience and Documentation in Everyday Life, PhotoEspaña 2009, Madrid, Spain and Rotterdam, Netherlands

Expérimentations photographiques en Europe des années 20 à nos jours, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

No Such Thing as Society. Photography in Britain 1967-1987, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland


Seeing Double (with Lothar Baumgarten, Anthony McCall, Larry Sultan / Mike Mandel, Mark Thompson), Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany

Jedermann Collection, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland


Einführung in die Kunstgeschichte, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal, Germany

The Last Days of the British Underground 1978 – 1988, ICA Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years, Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK

Erblätterte Identitäten, Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, Germany


The Secret Public, Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany

Erblätterte Identitäten, Stadthaus Ulm, Germany

Piktogramme. Die Einsamkeit der Zeichen, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany

Kontexte der Fotografie, Kunstverein Siegen, Siegen, Germany


The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982, Miami Art Central, Miami, USA

La Photographie à l’épreuve, Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole, Saint-Ètienne, France

Projet Cône Sud, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mysteriös, Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna, Austria


L’Art au Futur Anterieur, Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France

The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography 1960-1982, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Eblouissement, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

Artists’ Choice, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

2002 – 2003

Rapture: Art’s eduction by Fashion since 1970, Barbican Gallery, London, UK


Blast to Freeze: Britische Kunst im 20.Jahrhundert, Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, Germany

Sans commune mesure, Image et texte dans l’art actuel, Musée d’art moderne Lille, France

I Promise It’s Political, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany


Notorious: Art and Cinema, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK (and other venues in Sydney, Australia, Tokyo, Japan and Barcelona, Spain until 2001)

Media/Metaphor, 46th Corcoran Biennial, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA


The Impossible Document: Photography and British Conceptual Art 1967-76, Camera Work Gallery, London, UK

1996 – 1997

Face à l’Histoire 1933 – 1966: L’artiste moderne face à l’événement historique, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

1995 – 1996

1965 – 1975: Reconsidering the Object of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art / The Temporary Contemporary, Los Angeles, California, USA

3e Biennale de Lyon: installation, cinéma, vidéo, informatique in Lyon, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France


Hall of Mirrors: Art and Film since 1945, Museum of Contemporary Art / The Temporary Contemporary, Los Angeles, California, USA

Photography after Photography: defining Photography through Digitality, Kunsthalle München, Munich, Germany (and other venues in Europe and the USA)

Text & Image, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt/Main, Germany and MUSEION, Bolzano, Italy


The Art of Photography: 1839-1989, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA; Royal Academy of Art, London, UK; Ministry of Culture of the Soviet Union, Moscow, Russia and National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia

On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: On Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles County Art Museum, Los Angeles, California, USA

L’art conceptuel, une perspective, ARC, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France


The Future of the Metropolis, Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy


The Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London, UK

Photography and Art, Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, California; Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Queens Museum, New York and Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Écran Politiques, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Canada

Berlinart 1961-1987, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

The British Edge, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

British Art in the Twentieth Century, The Royal Academy, London, UK

Difference: On Sexuality and Representation, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA


Photographic Image in Contemporary Art, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan


Kunst im Sozialen Kontext, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany

The 3rd Biennale of Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Three Perspectives on Photography, Hayward Gallery, London, UK


Hayward Annual, Hayward Gallery, London, UK

Europe in the Seventies’ Aspects of Recent Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Social Criticism and Art Practise, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, USA


Arte Inglese Oggi 1960-1976, Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy


Victor Burgin/Art and Language, Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Saint-Etienne, France


Art and Politics, Galerie M, Bochum, Germany


Contemporanea, Parcheggio di Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy


36th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

documenta 5, Kassel, Germany

The New Art, Hayward Gallery, London, UK


Guggenheim International Exhibition, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

The British Avant-Garde, The New York Cultural Center, New York, UK


Information, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA


When Attitudes Become Form, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK

Selected Bibliography


Le Temps de la Ruine, Victor Burgin, Institut national d’histoire d’art, Paris


Victor Burgin. Between, new edition, MACK, London, UK

Psychical Realism. The Work of Victor Burgin, by Alexander Streitberger, Leuven University Press


Seeing Degree Zero, Edinburgh University Press

Victor Burgin. Afterlife, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, Germany


Victor Burgin : Five Projective : Essays about the work of Victor Burgin, Victor Burgin, Gülru Çakmak, David Campany, Homay King, David Rodowick, Anthony Vidler, Geneva, MamvoPieces for Projection, Berlin, Sternberg Press


Victor Burgin, Parallel texts, London


Situational Aesthetics, Leuven University Press


Components of a Practice, Skira


Voyage to Italy, Göttingen, Steidl


The Remembered Film, London, Reaktion Books

Ensayos, Barcelona, Gustavo Gili, Literos,


Relocating, London and Bristol, August/Arnolfini


Victor Burgin, Barcelona, Fundació Antoni Tàpies


Shadowed, Architectural Association, London, UK

Victor Burgin. Robert Gwathmey Lectures, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, USA


Venise, Black Dog Publishing, London, UK

Szerelmes Levelek/Love Letters, Mücsarnok Museum, Budapest, Hungary


In/Different Spaces: Place and Memory in Visual Culture, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA

Victor Burgin. Some Cities, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA and Reaktion Book, London, UK


History Painting, University at Buffalo Art Gallery/Research Center in Art + Culture, Buffalo, New York, USA


Passages, Musée d’art moderne de la Communaté Urbaine de Lille, Villeneuve d’Ascq, Lille, France


Taideteorian Loppu, Suomen Valokuvataiteen Museon Säätiö, Literos, Helsinki, Finland


Victor Burgin. Opere 1982-1986, Le Case d’Arte, Milan, Italy

Victor Burgin: Office at Night and Danaïdes/Dames, Charlotte, North Carolina, Knight Gallery, City of Charlotte


The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity, Macmillan Press, London/Basingstoke, and Humanities Press International, New Jersey, UK

Between, Basil Blackwell, Oxford and New York Formations of Fantasy, (co-edited with Donald, J. and Kaplan, C.), [Burgin: Introduction, one essay, translation], Methuen, London, UK


Victor Burgin (Ed.): Thinking Photography, The Macmillan Press Ltd., London/Basingstoke, and Humanities Press International, New Jersey, UK

Hôtel Latône, Calais, Edition Musée de Calais


Family, Lapp Princess Press, Ltd., in association with Printer Matter, Inc., New York, USA

Victor Burgin, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands


Two Essays on Art, Photography and Semiotics, Robert Self Publications, London, UK


Work and Commentary, Latimer, London, UK

Public Collections

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

The New York Public Library, Los Angeles, California, USA

County Museum of Art, Los Angeles , California, USA

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California, USA

The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

The Tate Gallery, London, UK

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

The Arts Council Collection, London, UK

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland

Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr, Dresden, Germany





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