Academic Session 20: Loughborough 2017

43rd Annual Conference and Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th – 8th April 2017

Photography’s History: Does the past matter?


Helen Ennis, Australian National University,

In the fields of photographic practice, history and curatorship, the past has been a preoccupation for the last several decades. Artists have engaged with historical photographic material in different kinds of archives; curators have produced major historical survey exhibitions for art museums and galleries, and historians of photography have written an ever increasing number of national and global histories of the medium. The timing of these engagements with the past and concerted endeavours to construct distinctive histories for photography have varied across cultures and countries but what is the current situation? And where exactly? Are there signs that the idea of history, the importance of photography’s own past, that has underpinned so much photographic practice and scholarship now beginning to matter less?

The papers in this session consider the relevance or irrelevance of photography’s own past in relation to practice, writing and curating. What use has been the past? How is it now being utilised and understood? What are the ramifications for future ‘histories’ of photography?

Click here to download a .pdf of this session's paper abstracts

David Brittain (Manchester School of Art) Photography’s Maverick Artistic Identities (withdrawn)

Cassandra Dam (The School of Critical and Creative Studies, Alberta College of Arts and Design, Canada) Strange Bedfellows: Aesthetic traditions and photographic practices

Matthias Pfaller (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt) In Search of Identity and Style: The latent history of photography in Chile

Pat Hurrell (School of Arts and Humanities, University of Suffolk) Past and Present: Historiography and the photographic work of Claude Cahun

S Nesli Gül Durukan (Yildiz Technical University) Curating Visual Archives in Contemporary Art: Current practices in Turkey

Sara Callahan (Stockholm University) Conceptual Photography as a Historical Archive: Citation, appropriation or homage?

Joy James (Western University, Canada) History, Memory and Experience: The potency of the photographic object

Susana S. Martins (Institute of Art History, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal and Institute for Cultural Studies, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) Past Matters and/as the Future of Photographic History