Neil Matheson is Senior Lecturer in Theory and Criticism of Photography. He is a photographer and academic whose research is focused on surrealism, contemporary art and photography. Trained originally in photography, his doctoral research in the theory and history of art at the University of Kent focused on surrealism and masculinity. His research work has embraced the work of a wide range of artists and photographers, including Artaud, Magritte, Ithell Colquhoun, E.L.T. Mesens, Paul McCarthy, Neo Rauch and Thomas Demand. He also participated in an AHRC funded project on Spiritualism and photography. Current research has focused on Japanese art and photography of the postwar era and its relationship with contemporary European art movements.
Publications include The Sources of Surrealism (Lund Humphries, 2006), and the jointly edited collection The Machine and the Ghost: Technology and Spiritualism in 19th to 21st Century Art and Culture (MUP, 2013). He was a contributor to the Tate catalogue Magritte A-Z (Tate, 2011) and has published in a wide range of edited collections and journals, including Mélusine, Photographies, History of Photography, Image and Narrative, Tate Etc., and Early Popular Visual Culture. His most recent book is Surrealism and the Gothic: Castles of the Interior (Routledge, 2017), an original exploration of the surrealism’s relationship with gothic writing and culture.
We understand photography as a broad inter-disciplinary field of study based on the photographic image, set within the distinct but overlapping networks of visual art, culture and media practice. Current focus includes contemporary art, social media, digital imaging, politics and big data networks.