Archive | Image | History

We decided to let them say 'we are convinced' twice, Walid Raad, colour photograph, 2002

CityArts and the Heritage Council in association with the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media and the School of Media, DIT present Archive | Image | History
December 3rd Moved to December 2nd 5.00 – 7.00pm – The Oval Room, The Rotunda, Parnell Sq. W. Dublin 1

Whilst archives and archival practices have been a consistent feature of the historian’s work, visual artists and cultural practitioners have also engaged the archive as site, form and source to appropriate, reconfigure and interrogate it. This forum brings together a number of practitioners and researchers to focus on notions of memory-building and archiving in the context of historical representation, exploring ideas of experience, memory and community, authenticity and authorship, notions of the public and public-ness, and the politics of the archival imagination.

Participants

Walid Raad

The Loudest Muttering is Over: Documents from The Atlas Group Archive. Raad uses photographic slides, notebook pages, and videotape excerpts as historical artifacts attributed to various sources or characters such as Dr. Fadl Fakhouri, a leading historian of Lebanese history, or Souheil Bachar, an ex-hostage. The findings and claims of these figures are inspired by historical circumstances and objects such as the role of the car bomb in the Lebanese wars, and existing captivity narratives.

Anthony Haughey

Remembering to Forget the Past: The Destruction and Recovery of Archives. Haughey has been working on post-conflict situations over the last decade specifically in relation to Northern Ireland and the Balkans where the destruction and recovery of archives has been one of the features and legacies of conflict. A starting point for some of this work is the description by Dr. Kemal Bakarsic, librarian of Bosnia’s National Museum, of the firebombing of the National and University Library during the bombardment of Sarajevo when ‘fragile pages of gray ashes, floated down like a dirty black snow. Catching a page you could feel its heat, and for a moment read a fragment of text in a strange kind of black and gray negative, until, as the heat dissipated, the page melted to dust in your hand’.

Catherine Morris

The praxis of community remembrancing: projections from lost Irish archives The cultural practices of the Irish Cultural Revival breathed new life into the dying body of the nation. The Revivalists called the past into being through street parades, collecting of folklore, staging and publishing Irish legends and histories, initiating art and museum exhibitions, and by travelling with theatre productions and magic lantern shows. Using archival sources, Morris will investigate how this emergent nationalist culture depicted itself in public space drawing connections between the politics of commemoration and repressed histories.

Chair: Martin McCabe, DIT Fellow, Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media

Ru Kitch, Street Photography From The Punjab (1950-2000)

Copyright Gogi PehlwanCopyright Gogi PehlwanCopyright Gogi PehlwanCopyright Mohammad Amin Naveed

Until fifteen years ago the Ru Kitch photographers were a familiar sight on the streets of Pakistan. For the odd penny they photographed passers-by, in black and white, with the results available immediately. The term Ru Kitch – literally ‘extracting the spirit’ – refers to the way in which the photographer stuck his hand into the camera in order to pull out the photograph. In fact the camera was a darkroom on a tripod, in which a photo could be developed in two minutes. The popularity of the color photo drove this century-old tradition from the street scene. The British photographer Malcolm Hutcheson prepared this survey of it.

Copyright Mohammad Amin NaveedCopyright Mohammad Amin Naveed

RU KITCH, STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE PUNJAB (1950-2000) was part of the 13th Noorderlicht International Photofestival (Sep-Oct 2006, The Netherlands), comprised of work by three Ru Kitch photographers, of whom only Mohammad Amin Naveed is still active. In the old days, passers-by, friends and families were eager to have him do a photograph of them as a souvenir of a day out. Now he makes his living by pasting portraits of his clients on pictures of famous names from the film industry. Naveed turned out to have in his possession a dusty box with work of his late uncle Gogi Pehlwan. He was active for forty years as a wrestler and Ru Kitch photographer. Hutcheson fills out his overview with the work of old Babba Bhutta, who was a Ru Kitch photographer for sixty years. He learned his trade from his father and has a collection of photos that perfectly reflects the peaceful life in a small Indian village.

Copyright Babba BhuttaCopyright Babba Bhutta

Malcolm Hutcheson (Great Britain/Pakistan, b. 1966) is a photographer and teaches photography at the school for Visual Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. He devotes a huge amount of energy to setting up a photographic archive for the Pakistani province of Punjab.

Copyright Babba Bhutta

The Look of the Irish

From RTE,

“ON TV, ONLINE AND THE RTÉ STILLS LIBRARY, LOOK OF THE IRISH CELEBRATES THE PHOTOS WHICH HAVE SHOWN US WHO WE ARE SINCE 1839.”

‘The Look of the Irish’ is a series of 9 programs dedicated to Photography and representation. This is the list:

Fergus Bourke: In His Own Words.

Fergus Bourke: In His Own Words

RTÉ One, 11.10pm on Sunday 9 August 2009

Made shortly before his death, this moving portrait of renowned photographer Fergus Bourke was first shown in May 2007. It introduces us to his life and work and the wide array of Irish life captured through his lens, including Dublin street scenes, pioneering photo-journalism, remarkable portrait photographs and classic images of Connemara and the Irish countryside.

Robert, William, and Alec Day

Day By Day By Day

RTÉ One, 7.30pm on Monday 10 August 2009

Robert, William, and Alec Day photographed their native Cork for over 100 years, creating a unique and unsurpassed photographic record of the city and its surroundings. This new documentary tells the story of an unusual family and the images they produced, from visiting kings and streetscapes to naked ladies and departing liners.

Michael Ryan

The Day Before Yesterday

RTÉ One, 8.30pm on Monday 10 August 2009

First broadcast in April 1994, ‘The Day Before Yesterday’ looks back at Ireland in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, as shown through the lens of Jesuit and photographer Fr. Francis Browne. Scripted and narrated by Michael Ryan, over 2,000 photographs from Fr. Browne’s collection of 40,000 are seen onscreen, a fascinating account of the birth and growth of independent Ireland record, of the people and the times.

David Farrell - Elusive Moments

David Farrell – Elusive Moments

RTÉ One, 11.05pm on Monday 10 August 2009

David Farrell is the only Irish photographer to have won the European Publishers’ Award for Photography, for his hugely successful exhibition Innocent Landscapes, dealing with the searches for the so-called “disappeared” from the conflict in the north of Ireland. Shot in Dublin, Wicklow, Cork, Italy and Paris, Elusive Moments follows two years of his working life, taking photographs, editing and printing his pictures, preparing them for exhibitions, and dealing with the marketplace.

Edward Quinn

Riviera Cocktail

RTÉ One, 11.25pm on Tuesday 11 August 2009

The Côte D’Azur in the 1950’s was the most glamorous place on the planet, where high society, big business, art, music and literature gathered to play. And Irish photographer Edward Quinn (1920 – 1997) was there to record it, producing exclusive photos of Grace Kelly, Federico Fellini, Pablo Picasso, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren, Edith Piaf, Max Ernst, Frank Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich, Miles Davis and so many more.

Sweet-Cork-of-Thee

Sweet Cork Of Thee – Edwardian Cork On Camera

RTÉ One, 7.30pm on Wednesday 12 August 2009

Some 15 years before Tomas MacCurtain and Terence McSwiney defined Cork’s republican credentials, English cinematographers Mitchell and Kenyon observed an altogether more ‘loyal’ Cork than that portrayed in the Rebel Cork story. In this RTÉ Archive Unit documentary, first shown on Christmas Day 2005, Pat Butler casts a wry eye on the Citizens of Cork, as they sport and play and go about their lives on the Banks of the Lee in 1902, spiced with Victorian and Edwardian ballads.

darkroom1

Dark Room

RTÉ One, 11.55pm on Wednesday 12 August 2009

First shown in February 2003, Dark Room looks at the life of the famous Irish photographer, Harry Thuillier, Jnr. Born in Dublin in 1984, his subject matter was noted for its particular darkness, including ancient skulls, limbs decorated with opium pods and flowering nudes. He survived an attack on a Dublin street which left him with only 80% vision in his right eye, and went on to make very distinctive and beautiful work, until his unexpected and mysterious death in Milan in December 1997.

man-who-shot-beckett2-1

The Man Who Shot Beckett

RTÉ One, 11.05pm on Thursday 13 August 2009

John Minihan is probably the most important Irish photographer alive today, his subjects ranging from Francis Bacon to John Hurt, Princess Diana to William Burroughs, his acclaimed pictures of Athy, and the famous series of photographs he took of Samuel Beckett in London and Paris. This profile of Minihan was first shown as part of RTÉ Beckett 100 in April 2006 and celebrates the friendship between Beckett and the photographer, a friendship that produced some of the most remarkable images of the great writer.

NotFadeAway-BoyTurfDonkey

Townlands: Not Fade Away

RTÉ One, 8.30pm on Friday 14 August 2009

In the wet and windy summer of 1913 two young women arrived in Ireland from France. Marguerite Mespoulet and Madelaine Mignon were women on a mission – to document what they regarded as the dying remnants of a great Celtic culture. During May and June 1913 they made a total of 75 colour photographs, stunning images, many with the delicacy of paintings, which together with their travel notebook, form a unique and fascinating record of an Ireland that, even then, was quickly fading away. (First shown in August 2004.)

The official site for ‘The Look of the Irish’ is here:
http://www.rte.ie/lookoftheirish/index.html

The Vision of the Other.

The Vision of the Other:
Modernity & the Photographed Face.

Horst P. HORST, Coco Chanel, 1937

KOWASA gallery presents “The Vision of the Other: Modernity and the Photographed Face”, a group show which attempts to define the way in which the human face was photographically constructed before its abolition by Postmodernism. The exhibition primarily offers a thorough insight into the history of portrait photography with a special emphasis on the shift of the portrait from being a mere “extension of the painted body” to being the photographic genre par excellence. At the same time it highlights the aesthetic and conceptual evolution of early portraiture from Pictorialism towards a modernist experimentation and subjectivity.

The exhibition gathers more than 70 black and white prints whose protagonists are Coco Chanel, Ernest Heminway, André Breton, Marc Chagall, Dalí, Josep Pla, Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marilyn Monroe and others. Among the more than 50 participant photographers appear such internationally renowned names as Nadar, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Horst P. Horst, Edward Steichen, Josef Sudek, Arnold Newman, Man Ray; national photographers include Joan Colom, Francesc Català-Roca, Xavier Miserachs and Alberto Schommer.

Jacques-Henri LARTIGUE, Renée Perle, 1930-32

Throughout the exhibition ATELIERETAGUARDIA will be organizing portrait sessions using the technique of wet-plate collodion, one of the most emblematic photographic processes of the 19th century. ATELIERETAGUARDIA heliografía contemporánea is a platform for the study and practice of 19th century photographic technology.

The advent of photography contributed to the re-evaluation of portrait art in regard to painting as, in the words of Samuel Morse, an “improved Rembrandt”. Obtained through processes which required a long exposure and which resulted in many imperfections, the first portraits in the 19th century often suggested an attack on the vanity of their subjects. Following this, it is hardly surprising that the increasing aesthetic demands of the time very soon resulted in an army of portraits-makers at the service of retouching mastery. If the conviction that photography “robbed” the soul reigned in the 19th century, in the 20th century photography would become the soul’s mirror. Under the impact of this idea which made a deep impression on the popular imagination, portrait photography was conferred the mission of capturing with sophistication the historic aura, whilst reflecting in its discourse the predominant social and cultural stereotypes.

Yousuf Karsh, Alfred Hitchcock, 1960

The poses of introspection, the overacting of the bourgeois fetishes and a harmonious representation of all the parts of the body constitute to some of the visual characteristics of this orthodox rhetoric of the portrait. Whereas the direct photographic take was supposed to provide sufficient data for recognizing oneself, the portrait -the supposed door to the soul- paradoxically ended up violating this principle by prioritizing a visual vocabulary that flaunted the pertinence of the individual into a social class.

Pictorialism (late 19th century-early 20th) came to embody this ideology with its hymn to the inner being and its constant flirt with painting. Even if the status of the individual as agent of a social hierarchy was now fading in favour of a spiritual reflection that projected the emotional qualities of the person depicted, this did not mean to say that the Pictorialists were infringing upon the rules of the game -to the contrary, the deal between the socially imagined and the final representation was still preserved. This pictorialist concept remained firmly rooted in fine-art photography portraiture throughout the 20th century despite its ongoing ruptures and changes. Even the critical accomplishments of the European avant-gardes, which were widely popularized during the thirties and the post-war era, were adopted by portrait photography so as to construct a much more dynamic, persuasive discourse whose variants continued to fortify the mythologies and popular narratives of the time. Among the most characteristic cases is the portraiture of celebrities and actresses, whereby face and body were shaped in accordance to the myth. Likewise, the portraits of public personalities -politicians and artists-are enveloped by means of obsequious poses that associate them irrevocably with their respective names. Here, more than ever, the face turns into a public affair.

In the meantime, with the introduction of hand-held cameras, the naturalization of poses and snapshot culture were gaining terrain.

In the twenties, the avant-gardes denounced the mystic ambition of discovering what lay behind the face, and instead began to pursue aesthetic experimentation. In this new way of looking, according to which, in the words of László Moholy-Nagy, “each pore, wrinkle or freckle has its importance”, the goals were quite distinct: the time had arrived to become definitively divorced from painting, to celebrate the inherent properties of photography -the camera eye, the negative and the positive. It was time to push aside the classist mise-en-scène and focus on a much more abstract and geometric representation of the external world. This experimentation with the photographic medium included over-exposures, formalism, special angles, close-up, and photomontage.

Another important element of modernist portraiture in its most mature phase is the insertion of psychoanalysis and Freudian theories in its visual discourse. If the orthodox portrait propagated the unity of identity, these theories, first adopted by the Surrealists and the artistic circles linked to them, reinvented the face as something superficial, planting evidence for the duality between the person and their “persona”, namely the masquerade one constructs for others -that is to say the polarization between the ego, the super-ego and the eradicated social image.

For its part, direct photography was expressing its scepticism before the subject, under the decisive influence of the Marxist theories which advocated the consciousness of a social being. The debate became intensified after the second-world war. Portrait photography came out of the studio for good, capturing its subjects in poses of apparent informality within their natural environments -the artist in his studio, the composer beside his piano, the writer among his books, and above all, the photographer with his camera. Faces captured with carelessness demystified the system and the established social imagery by establishing an iconology of social synecdoche. Snapshot and candid street photography broke the complicity among the sitter and the photographer, and dynamized the traditional conception of the portrait. The problem now shifted to what Barthes has described as the battle of two identities with distinct domains: on the one hand, there is the photographer-voyeur, and on the other the photographed subject which elaborates its social masquerade to back up its image. In this new age, rather than being the “mirrors of the soul” of the sitters, portraits reflected the personality of the photographer. This ongoing rupture of the portrait as a unity accepted ambiguity and humour at the time of representation. The modernist faith concerning myth still persisted, although, at this time it was not projected by the external world but instead, by the author and his camera. It would not be long before the gaze turned its back on it. In the early seventies, the definitive “rupture of the mirror” would cause the final abolition of both implicated parts, the sitter and the “auteur” behind the camera.

A Cuban Timeline 1960 – 2008

A Cuban Timeline

After an ill-fated insurgency against the Cuban government in 1953, in which he was nearly killed, Fidel Castro returned via the Cuban Revolution to become one of the most notable political figures of the 20th century. A vociferous opponent of the United States, a staunch critic of the capitalist model, and an oft-cited prophet of the Latin American Left, Mr. Castro’s legacy will likely inspire mixed feelings of admiration, fear, and disdain.

Other interesting galleries:

By Magnum Photographers, produced by Magnum in Motion

15th NOORDERLICHT International PhotoFestival

We rarely have the chance to survey the photohistories of Eastern European countries, let along the life, culture, traditions, etc. of so many different countries in the eyes of 35 photographers, as in the 15th Noorderlicht International PhotoFestival. It is a unique opportunity to learn about the History of a great part of Europe that has been for too long ignored. It is an inmense insight to the works of many practitioners, but even better, to the life before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in East Europe. Im already booking my flight…!

Have a look at the Press Release

BEHIND WALLS: Eastern Europe before 1989.
Behind Walls concludes the series of five editions of the festival that focused on photography from various non-Western regions and earlier looked at Africa, South America, the Arab world and South and Southeast Asia.

In 1989 the fall of the Berlin Wall heralded the end of the East Block. Socialism and totalitarianism made way for capitalism and democracy. A unique reservoir of photography was buried along with the old values. Over the years, each of the member states of the East Block had developed its own photographic vocabulary, which almost never extended beyond its national borders. Now that memories of the Communist era are no longer welcome, this historically important body of photography faces the threat of remaining unseen forever.

Two decades after the end of the East Block, Noorderlicht unlocks this forgotten treasure. In service of the regime, independently or working underground, photographers in the East Block documented a now vanished era, each in their own way. Behind Walls, the 15th Noorderlicht Photofestival, offers an overview of their work, which is generally being seen here for the first time outside its country of origin. Never before has photography from all the former East Block lands been brought together in one large-scale presentation.

Censorship and lack of freedom were a self-evident part of life in the days of the East Block. The totalitarian regimes propagated an heroic image of socialist society. Photographs of everyday scenes and personal interests were not appreciated. Only in periods of relative freedom, such as during the Prague Spring, but also in the DDR of the late 1970s, did photographers violate the unwritten rules, and then carefully. At other moments flight into a self-created reality offered solace, and this became a great stimulant for photographic experimentation.

Proud portraits of the ‘worker of the month’, clandestine photographs of staged people’s manifestations, advertising for products that were not available, forbidden photographs of nude women: Behind Walls provides a fascinating picture of life and photography in the Socialist paradise. In one international presentation the viewer can see how photographers throughout the East Block experienced the world around them, and how the absence of freedom affected their work. With contributions by 35 photographers from twelve countries, Noorderlicht brings to life a world that ceased to exist in 1989.

Beyond Walls – Eastern Europe after 1989
A new Eastern Europe arose after 1989. The Iron Curtain disappeared, the street scene changed unrecognizably. Some countries disintegrated, a majority have become members of the European Union. After four decades of Communism, capitalism is the new ideology. Individualism has replaced collectivism, opposition politics is again permitted. The heroic worker has had to become a critical consumer.

As a mirror held up to Behind Walls, a second exhibition, Beyond Walls, provides a picture of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Left opposes right, nostalgia for the old days faces off against the blessings of capitalism. Among the remains of the Communist era – from the gray architecture to the discrimination against ethnic groups – a frantic search for a new identity is going on.

These changes also leave their mark on photography. What was previously forbidden ground – literally, in the case of once heavily guarded border areas – or new phenomena such as a beauty contest in Poland or the rise of a Romanian tourist industry, can now be documented. Eastern European outcasts also have a chance to visualize their youth behind the Iron Curtain.

Together with Behind Walls, Beyond Walls forms a full-fledged diptych. In an extraordinary presentation, 35 photographers from East and West visualize the most recent history of Eastern Europe, with work from all the former East Block countries. Beyond Walls tells the intriguing story of a world full of contradictions in which a dynamic present still bears the traces of a charged past.

Fries Museum
Leeuwarden
7 Sept – 26 Oct

[Loads more information and photographs about this fantastic retrospective can be found here and here]