What might it look like if we could hear a museum thinking... How does it feel to be up close to an object and in doubt... How do patterns of knowledge take shape, transforming over time… What gives consistency to the creation of a museum-assemblage… How might its unique photo-atmospherics, hold the secret to alternative museum futures...


Simon Fleury’s practice-led research fabricates museum-objects to explore and test the intimate entangling relations between the museum and the photograph: Accessing this saturated field of material relations (photospherics) via the conservation based modes of photo-documentation and material analysis of museum-objects, known as the condition report  (testing a counter-factual conservation).

Simon presented his research at several recent conferences; The Institutional Lives of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2019), and Memory, Word and Image: W. G. Sebald’s artistic Legacies, at Amsterdam University (2019), alongside taking part in the New Alphabet School, a 3 year project at HKW Berlin, that ‘aims to explore critical and affirmative research to rethink criticism as a practice of shared responsibility and care.’ Simon is a co-founder of Practices of Attunement, an itinerant study group ... set in motion at the (Un-)Learning Place ... gathering in response to a call,  #institutingSimon also hosts the online Material Photographies reading group.

Simon’s practice is underpinned by many years as a conservator at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, where he was responsible for the care of the Museum’s extensive photographic holdings. A practice underpinned by a background in photography, which has included extensive commercial experience, post-graduate study at the Royal College of Art, and PhD at Birmingham School of Art and Design (M3C AHRC). Simon’s work is in Tate and British Council collections.

While at the V&A Simon actively promoted conservation centred projects. This included a roundtable exploring the emerging field of ‘experimental preservation’ (featured in Experimental Preservation, Lars Müller Press, 2016), and a collaborative project with artist Marie Lund, investigating the agency and ethics of conservation, through the making of a new artwork.

please get in touch if you’d like to hear more about Simon’s research/the Material Photographies Reading Group: simonfleury@mac.com