Mark Cousins
The Story of Looking


“Looking can be an act of empathy or aggression. It can provoke desire or express it. And from the blurry, edgeless world we inhabit as infants to the landscape of screens we grow into, looking can define us.” Mark Cousins, The Story of Looking

Mark Cousins, renowned filmmaker, critic and writer, will be discussing the nature and history of looking – the subject of his new book The Story of Looking.

In what promises to be a brilliant, expansive and thoughtful talk, Cousins will take us on a tour – in words and images – through how our looking selves develop over the course of a lifetime, and the ways that looking has changed through the centuries. From great works of art to tourist photographs, from cityscapes to cinema, through science and protest, propaganda and refusals to look, the false mirrors and great visionaries of looking, the talk will illuminate how we construct as well as receive the things we see.

Mark Cousins will be in conversation with Nick Hackworth.

Mark Cousins is a Northern Irish author and filmmaker. His books include Watching. Real. People. Elsewhere and The Story of Film. His films – such as I am Belfast, The First Movie, Atomic and The Story of Film: An Odyssey – have won a Peabody Award, the Prix Italia and the Stanley Kubrick Award, and have been shown in MoMA in New York, at the Cannes film festival, and around the world. He is Honorary Professor of Film at the University of Glasgow.

Attendance by invitation only.

View the Collection

John Gerrard, Flag (Thames), 2015

Jim Woodall, Decoupling, 2014

Raphaela Vogel, Teint Eklat, 2014

Leo Fitzmaurice, Visitors, 2018