Against Amnesia. Appropriation and/as Art of Memory

Lecture | Vortrag
Conference | Konferenz "How History Comes Into Photography", Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main
June 28-30, 2012 | 28.-30. Juni

Like memory, history is always partial, resulting from processes of selection and organization, of interpretation and representation. Like memory, history is always a construction.
However, if we might say that since its early beginnings, photography has played an important role for constructing both personal and collective memory/memories, as well as history/histories, it is important to understand that within these processes photographs are always affecting and affected at the same time. It’s this affection that results not only in what can be considered as the making o rel="noopener"f memory/memories and history/histories, but at the same time comes with forgetting and even, in certain cases, amnesia.

Indeed when refl rel="noopener"ecting upon the politics of public uses and abuses of photographic images, we have to discuss the latter not only as a condition o rel="noopener"f memory, but also of history: Whenever one idea of history enters a photograph, others are at risk to get lost.
In this process, archive rel="noopener"s – as institutions that claim to store, organize and thus also represent history (and "collective memory") – are powerful structur rel="noopener"es at a pole position.

But in how do they affect our relation to photographs, and what does this mean exactly for photography’s relation t rel="noopener"o history and, if we dare to speak of, to "historical memory" and its counterpart, "historical amnesia"?

In search for possible answers to this question, the lecture will take an approach from the margins to the centre: By looking at artistic projects dealing with the role of photography in the tension field between (historical) memory and (historical) amnesia in the making – hereby specifically addressing the role, position, and impact of the archive for and within processes of making history enter photography.

Hintergrundinformationen | Background Information:

Projekt "(UN)SICHTBARE ARCHIVE" auf www.under-construction.cc | Project "(IN)VISIBLE ARCHIVES" at www.under-construction.cc

projects: center for storytelling, [IN]VISIBILIA, (IN)VISIBLE ARCHIVES, (IN)VISIBLE TYPOLOGIES, performing (in)visible archives


tags: alltagskultur, archive, archives, art & media, art & society, art history, bild & imagination, cultural history, everyday cultures, fotografie, geschichten & geschichte, image & imagination, institutionen, institutions, invisibility, knowledge cultures, kulturgeschichte, kunst & gesellschaft, kunst & medien, kunstgeschichte, ort, photography, place, stories & histories, time, topologien, topologies, unsichtbarkeit, wissenskulturen, zeit



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