Archiv des Autors: Julia Bärnighausen

Updated Program: Photo-Objects. On the Materiality of Photographs and Photo-Archives in the Humanities and Sciences

A Conference by the Collaboration Project „Photo-Objects. Photographs as (Research) Objects in Archaeology, Ethnology and Art History“, Florence, February 15th to 17th 2017

Please find the updated program here: Photo-Objects_Program

Collaboration partners: Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut / Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung.

Photographs are not only images, but also historically shaped three-dimensional objects. They hold a physical presence, bear traces of handling and use and circulate in social, political and institutional networks. Beyond their visual content they are now increasingly acknowledged as material „actors“ not only indexically representing the objects they depict but also playing a crucial role in the processes of meaning-making within scientific practices. Thus, photographs lead a double existence as both pictures of objects and material objects in their own right.

Most scientific disciplines rapidly adopted photography as an important research tool to document everything from excavation sites, costumes and artworks in museums to snowflakes under a microscope – through photographs such objects of research, were detached from their original surroundings, put in standardized and transportable formats, newly contextualized and made comparable. Especially the material qualities of photographs have shaped their adoption in the various disciplines by affording certain types of uses. Inscriptions in and the handling of photographs made „photo-objects“ applicable to the sciences and humanities. This way they could be classified, archived and thus satisfy the positivistic demand for „objectivity“. The formation and definition of many academic disciplines is therefore not conceivable without photography. These processes were encouraged by the foundation of specialized photo-archives as interfaces of technology and science. They were and still are laboratories of scientific thought, in which objects of all kinds are part of a dynamic and material system of knowledge, interacting with and reacting to each other – from „photo-objects“ in their various manifestations to storage furniture, card catalogues, inventory books, reference lists, prints and illustrated publications.

Taking photographic materiality as its premise the conference will analyze the epistemological potential of analog and digital photographs and photo archives in the humanities and sciences. Contributions from all disciplines will be discussed from a comparative point of view. The conference also aims to critically examine the conceptualization of photographic materiality and mobility through such terms as „biography“, „itinerary“ and „network“ from a methodological and self-reflexive perspective. Taking the material aspects of photographic practices in the humanities and sciences as a starting point, the papers will deal with the circulation and distribution of photographs, the construction of methods through the handling and use of photographs in the various disciplines, arrangement, classification and working processes in photo-archives, as well as photographs in different institutions (i.e. archives, museums, research institutes and laboratories).

Organization: Costanza Caraffa and Julia Bärnighausen, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

See also: http://www.khi.fi.it/5452599/20170215-photo-objekte

Photo Archives VI: The Place of Photography, April 20-21, 2017

Department of History of Art, University of Oxford | Conference Venue: Christ Church, Oxford

This conference investigates photographs and photographic archives in relation to notions of place. In this context, place is used to explore both the physical location of a photograph or archive, as well as the place of photography as a discursive practice with regard to its value or significance as a method of viewing and conceiving the world. Photographs are mobile objects that can change their location over time, transported to diverse commercial, artistic, social, academic and scientific locations. The photograph’s physical location thus has an impact upon its value, function and significance; these topics are explored at the conference through a range of archives and across disciplines. How might the mobility of photographs open up thinking about archives and, in turn, classificatory structures in disciplines such as Art History, Archaeology and Anthropology, or in the Sciences? The conference also addresses questions of digital space, which renders the image more readily accessible, but complicates issues relating to location. What is the place, or value, of the photographic archive in the digital Age?

The conference features internationally-renowned speakers, with a keynote lecture by Geoffrey Batchen and a final discussion led by Elizabeth Edwards. Site visits to Oxford’s outstanding photographic collections are also planned, including to the Bodleian Library’s Talbot Archive, the Pitt Rivers Museum, the History of Science Museum, the Griffith Institute’s archives of archaeological expeditions, and the History of Art Department’s Visual Resources Centre.

Programme.pdf

To register for the conference, go to: http://www.hoa.ox.ac.uk/events/photo.html or email: mailto:photo.conference@hoa.ox.ac.uk

Keynote Speaker:
Geoffrey Batchen (Victoria University of Wellington)

Final Discussion:
Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort University)

Speakers:
Estelle Blaschke (University of Lausanne)
Frederick N. Bohrer (Hood College)
Catherine E. Clark (MIT)
Luke Gartlan (University of St Andrews)
Pascal Griener (University of Neuchâtel)
Clare Harris (University of Oxford)
Christopher Morton (University of Oxford)
Chitra Ramalingam (Yale University)
Christina Riggs (University of East Anglia)
Lucie Ryzova (University of Birmingham)
Joan M. Schwartz (Queen’s University, Ontario)
Nina Lager Vestberg (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Shireen Walton (University College London)
Kelley Wilder (DeMonfort University)
Shamoon Zamir (New York University Abu Dhabi)

Organization:
The conference is convened by Geraldine Johnson (University of Oxford), Deborah Schultz (Regent’s University London), and Costanza Caraffa (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz—Max-Planck-Institut). It is sponsored by the Kress Foundation, the John Fell Fund and the History Faculty’s Sanderson Fund at the University of Oxford, and Christ Church, Oxford.

This is the sixth in the international Photo Archives conference series dedicated to the interaction between photography, photographic archives and academic disciplines. For more information on the series, see: http://www.khi.fi.it/4831050/photo_archives.

Conference Program: Photo-Objects. On the Materiality of Photographs and Photo-Archives in the Humanities and Sciences

A conference of the collaboration project ‘Photo-Objects. Photographs as (Research) Objects in Archaeology, Ethnology and Art History’, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, February 15th-17th 2017

Please note that a registration will not be neccessary.

Photo-Objects_Program

 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15th 2017

2.00–2.15
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
Costanza Caraffa, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

2.15–3.15
KEYNOTE LECTURE
Elizabeth Edwards, Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester: Thoughts on the ‘Non-Collections’ of the Archival Ecosystem

3.15–3.30
Coffee Break

PANEL I: INTO THE ARCHIVE

3.30–4.15
İdil Çetin, Galatasaray University, Istanbul: Where is the Archive? The Reality of Doing Research on Ataturk Photographs

4.15–5.00
Vered Maimon, Tel Aviv University: Affective Archives: Vernacular Photography and the Life of Images

5.00–5.30
Coffee Break

5.30–6.15
Suryanandini Narain, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi: In the Family Photographic Archives from India

6.15–7.00
Katharina Sykora, DFG-Graduiertenkolleg ‘Das fotografische Dispositiv‘, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig: In the Archive’s Eye. A Triumphant Autopoiesis of Photography

8.00
Dinner for Speakers

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16th 2017

PANEL II: GETTING ONE’S HANDS DIRTY

9.30–10.15
Omar Nasim, Universität Regensburg: Handling Photography. The Case of Astronomy

10.15–11.00
Zeynep Çelik, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University: Late Ottoman Practices: Modernity, Photography, Medical Research, and Anthropological Documentation

11.00–11.30
Coffee Break

11.30–12.15
Haidy Geismar, University College London, and Pip Laurenson, Tate London / Maastricht University: Finding Photography, Opening up the Photo-Object: A Dialogue between Anthropology and Conservation

12.15–2.00
Lunch Break

2.00–5.30
WORKSHOP ‘PHOTO-OBJECTS‘
Chair: Joan M. Schwartz, Queen’s University, Kingston
With: Julia Bärnighausen, Stefanie Klamm, Franka Schneider and Petra Wodtke, BMBF-Project ‘Photo-Objects‘

5.30–6.00
Coffee Break

6.00–7.00
HANDLING PHOTO-OBJECTS IN THE PHOTOTHEK (for speakers only)
With: Costanza Caraffa, Ute Dercks, Almut Goldhahn and Julia Bärnighausen, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17th 2017

9.00–10.00
KEYNOTE LECTURE
Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin: The Accidental Trace and the Science of the Future: Tales from the 19th-Century Archives

PANEL III: SPACES OF HYBRIDIZATION

10.00–10.45
Anaïs Mauuarin, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris: The Two-Faced Photothèque of the Museum of Man: Between Scientific and Commercial Uses

10.45–11.15
Coffee Break

11.15–12.00
Christopher Pinney, University College London: Digital Cows: Flesh and Code

12.00–12.45
Lena Holbein, DFG-Graduiertenkolleg ‘Das fotografische Dispositiv‘, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig: Reflections on the Archive: Reconsidering the ‘Evidence’-Project (1977–2017)

12.45–2.00
Lunch Break

PANEL IV: CANON FORMATION AND TRANSFORMATION

2.00–2.45
Kelley Wilder, Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester: The Two Cultures of Word and Image. On Materiality and the Photographic Catalogue

2.45–3.30
Maria Männig, Karlsruhe: The Memory of Art History: Analyzing Slide Collections

3.30–4.00
Coffee Break

4.00–4.45
Petra Trnková, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague: The Unbearable (and Irresistible) Charm of ‚Duplicates‘

4.45–5.30
Christina Riggs, University of East Anglia, Norwich: Photographing Tutankhamun: Photo-Objects and the Archival Afterlives of Colonial Archaeology

5.30–6.00
Coffee Break

6.00–7.00
CLOSING REMARKS & FINAL DISCUSSION
Joan M. Schwartz, Queen’s University, Kingston

END OF CONFERENCE

Into the Archive: On the Materiality of Photographs

An Online Exhibition of the BMBF-Project “Photo-Objects. Photographs as (Research) Objects in Archaeology, Ethnology and Art History”

From 14 November 2016 the Online Exhibition “Into the Archive: On the Materiality of Photographs” is showcasing 96 photographs from the holdings of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut.

Photographs are not only reproductions of whatever is represented in them, but also three-dimensional material objects, which are handled, used and subject to processes of wear and tear. From a single model various photo-objects can be created, including not only negatives, contact sheets and photoprints, but also drawings and prints in books. Equally heterogeneous are the circumstances in which they are conserved and the networks in which they move. Photographs, whether analog or digital, circulate in archives, museums, research institutes, universities and private collections. They traverse social, political, cultural and historical contexts and are consequently received and used in very different ways.

This is the point of view chosen for the current Online Exhibition. It presents in six sections (“Multiple Originals”, “Work on Photo-Objects”, “Circulation”, “People in Pictures”, “Types and Typologies”, “On the Margins of the Archive”) four photo-archives and their collections: the archive of the Antikensammlung of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz with a photographic documentation of the archaeological campaigns in Magnesia on the Maeander and Pergamon; the Sammlung Fotografie of the Kunstbibliothek of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz with two groups of architectural photographs dating to around 1900; the Hahne-Niehoff photo-archive on folklore of the Institut für Europäische Ethnologie at the Humboldt-University in Berlin; and the Photothek of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut with its applied arts section.

Already in the nineteenth century photographs were used as tools of scientific research and incorporated in photographic collections and archives. Here they were mounted on cardboards, captioned, annotated, trimmed, ordered, stamped and classified. Photographs and photographic archives have never been neutral or objective. Only by their processing were they turned into (scientifically) utilizable images. As such they passed through various hands, formats, institutions and networks. They were used, for example, for documentation and communication, or also as illustrations for publications. Photographs are thus man-made, social and movable objects and just for this reason especially expressive. Gaining an understanding not only of the materiality of photographs, but also of their status as historically and socially determined objects, has also led to attention being focused on marginal photo-objects, which often evade scientific scrutiny in archives: photos that are considered unclassifiable – over-exposed or out-of-focus, fragmentary or defective images, or photos labelled simply as “miscellaneous” or “curiosa”. So the Online Exhibition shows not only photos exemplifying the core holdings of the collections presented here, but also their apparent marginalia. Only when photographs are taken seriously as material objects, do they reveal all their epistemological potential as bearers and creators of knowledge. For each photo-object has its own unique biography, which yields information not only about the photograph itself, but also about the processes in which it is involved and by which it has been shaped.

The Online Exhibition “Into the Archive: On the Materiality of Photographs” gives a current insight into the work of the cooperative project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research “Photo-objects. Photographs as (Research) Objects in Archaeology, Ethnology and Art History”, in which the four institutions represented in this exhibitions are working together. The project links methodological approaches to “material culture” with a comparative perspective: photo-objects are compared as three-dimensional, material artefacts, while at the same time the focus is placed on their scientific use in the disciplines of archaeology, ethnology and art history. Not least the aim of the project is to deconstruct the claimed neutrality of documentary photographs and photo-archives.

Concept and texts: Julia Bärnighausen, Stefanie Klamm, Franka Schneider, Petra Wodtke

Coordination: Julia Bärnighausen, Almut Goldhahn

Photo-Objects. On the Materiality of Photographs and Photo-Archives in the Humanities and Sciences

A conference of the collaboration project „Photo-Objects. Photographs as (Research) Objects in Archaeology, Ethnology and Art History“, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, February 15th-17th 2017

Photographs are not only images, but also historically shaped three-dimensional objects. They hold a physical presence, bear traces of handling and use and circulate in social, political and institutional networks. Beyond their visual content they are now increasingly acknowledged as material „actors“ not only indexically representing the objects they depict but also playing a crucial role in the processes of meaning-making within scientific practices. Thus, photographs lead a double existence as both pictures of objects and material objects in their own right.

Most scientific disciplines rapidly adopted photography as an important research tool to document everything from excavation sites, costumes and artworks in museums to snowflakes under a microscope – through photographs such objects of research, were detached from their original surroundings, put in standardized and transportable formats, newly contextualized and made comparable. Especially the material qualities of photographs have shaped their adoption in the various disciplines by affording certain types of uses. Inscriptions in and the handling of photographs made „photo-objects“ applicable to the sciences and humanities. This way they could be classified, archived and thus satisfy the positivistic demand for „objectivity“. The formation and definition of many academic disciplines is therefore not conceivable without photography. These processes were encouraged by the foundation of specialized photo-archives as interfaces of technology and science. They were and still are laboratories of scientific thought, in which objects of all kinds are part of a dynamic and material system of knowledge, interacting with and reacting to each other – from „photo-objects“ in their various manifestations to storage furniture, card catalogues, inventory books, reference lists, prints and illustrated publications.

Taking photographic materiality as its premise the conference will analyze the epistemological potential of analog and digital photographs and photo archives in the humanities and sciences. Contributions from all disciplines will be discussed from a comparative point of view. The conference also aims to critically examine the conceptualization of photographic materiality and mobility through such terms as „biography“, „itinerary“ and „network“ from a methodological and self-reflexive perspective. Taking the material aspects of photographic practices in the humanities and sciences as a starting point, the papers will deal with the circulation and distribution of photographs, the construction of methods through the handling and use of photographs in the various disciplines, arrangement, classification and working processes in photo-archives, as well as photographs in different institutions (i.e. archives, museums, research institutes and laboratories).

Keynote-Speakers:

Lorraine Daston, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin
Elizabeth Edwards, De Montfort University, Leicester

Speakers:

Zeynep Çelik (New Jersey Institute of Technology–Rutgers University)
Idil Çetin (Galatasaray University, Istanbul)
Haidy Geismar (University College London) and Pip Laurenson (Tate London / Maastricht University)
Lena Holbein (DFG-Graduiertenkolleg Das fotografische Dispositiv, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig)
Vered Maimon (Tel Aviv University Ramat Aviv)
Maria Männig (Karlsruhe)
Anaïs Mauuarin (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris)
Omar Nasim (Universität Regensburg)
Suryanandini Narain (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
Christopher Pinney (University College London)
Christina Riggs (University of East Anglia, Norwich)
Katharina Sykora (DFG-Graduiertenkolleg Das fotografische Dispositiv, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig)
Petra Trnková (Czech Academy of Sciences Husova, Prague)
Kelley Wilder (Photographic History Research Centre, DeMonfort University, Leicester)

Part of the conference will be a workshop on the „Photo-Objects“ Project.

Organization:

Costanza Caraffa und Julia Bärnighausen, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

See also: http://www.khi.fi.it/5452397/20170215-photo-objekte

Photography in Academic Research, 8–9 September 2016, Birkbeck College, London

A Guest Review by Deborah Schultz

Poster Photograph: ‘Drought Without Frontiers’ The Waso Boorana people, Garba Tulla, North East Kenya, 1992. © Marcel Reyes-Cortez

An international conference on ‘Photography in Academic Research’ took place at Birkbeck College London, 8–9 September 2016 (Programme). It was hosted by the UCL Institute of Archaeology in collaboration with the Royal Anthropological Institute and Birkbeck, Department of Politics and organised by ‘photography + (con) text’. This project was set up by Marcel Reyes-Cortez, a photographer and visual anthropologist living in London, with the aim of promoting the collaboration and exchange between social researchers and practitioners who use photography in their research and practice. With over seventy speakers, the conference brought together practicing photographers with archaeologists, anthropologists, art and architecture historians, political scientists, geographers and psychotherapists.

The combination of speakers from such a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds resulted in an exceptionally rich and stimulating series of panels with keynote papers by Professor Patrick Sutherland (London College of Communication, University of the Arts London) and Carlos Reyes-Manzo (Birkbeck College, London). A number of key issues were brought into focus including the ethics of the archive and the circulation of photographic images. During the Round Table discussion, Reyes-Manzo expressed concern regarding the extent to which artistic projects that explore found or archival photography might pose a breach of trust between the original photographer and subject; other speakers addressed the changing contexts in which photographs may productively be viewed, engendering new readings and understandings of both the images and the contexts in which they were produced.

Participants also explored the contemporary prevalence of photographic images, especially with regard to their dissemination through digital channels and how this dissemination challenges the ways in which they are valued. Sutherland commented on, what he termed, ‘the grammar of image construction’, the immersion of the photographer and social interaction. What may seem to be small formal decisions have a huge impact on how a subject is articulated and communicated. Sutherland also referred to how the ease of current production methods has changed the presentation of photography in print form.

The influence or agency of photography was raised and discussed. To what extent can photography influence politics? On the day when the renowned Vietnam War photograph by Nick Ut was removed by Facebook from a post, before the decision was reversed, these debates were particularly timely.

In addition the conference highlighted the contrast between certain photographic and academic methods. A number of photographers commented on the often intuitive way in which they know when they have taken or made images that corresponds to their leading idea. By contrast, academic research tends to involve more of a dialogic process between a hypothesis and results which develop and change gradually over time and which are often different from, or cannot be envisaged by, that hypothesis. Contemporary photographic practices might similarly be seen to make claims and examine or interrogate those claims through visual rather than verbal methods.

A number of the photographic projects which were presented at the conference drew on quotidian or everyday photography and the question was raised of whether new critical methods need to be found, or existing methods adapted, with which to examine these images. To what extent might the visual language of quotidian photography, in seeming or claiming to be more authentic than more clearly composed photography, bypass decades of postmodern criticality? The authority of the photographic image in the 21st century was raised with regard to its subject matter, its form and ist Dissemination.

Dr Deborah Schultz is Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Regent’s University London. In autumn 2015 she was Academic Visitor in the History of Art department at the University of Oxford for a project on ‘Photo Archives in the History of Art History’. She is co-convenor with Costanza Caraffa (KHI) and Geraldine Johnson (University of Oxford) of the conference Photo Archives VI: Photo Archives and the Place of Photography, Christ Church Oxford, 20-21 April 2017.

Call for Papers: Foto-Objekte / Photo-Objects

[For English version please see below.]

Call for Papers: „Foto-Objekte. Zur Materialität von Fotografien und Foto-Archiven in den Wissenschaften“, Symposium am Kunsthistorischen Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, 15.-17.02.2017, Deadline 15.07.2016

Ein Symposium des Verbund-Projektes „Foto-Objekte. Fotografien als (Forschungs-) Objekte in Archäologie, Ethnologie und Kunstgeschichte“, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut (Photothek) / Sammlung Fotografie der Kunstbibliothek und Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, gefördert vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, www.fotobjekt.hypotheses.org.

Fotografien sind nicht nur Bilder, sondern auch historisch geformte, dreidimensionale Objekte: Sie besitzen eine physische Präsenz, tragen Spuren von Gebrauch und Nutzung und zirkulieren in sozialen, politischen und institutionellen Netzwerken. Über ihren visuellen Inhalt hinaus werden sie seit einigen Jahren zunehmend als materielle Akteure (an)erkannt, die nicht nur indexikalisch verweisen, sondern als Werkzeuge in (Wissens-)Praktiken auch konstituierend wirken und multiple Bedeutungen eröffnen. Sie sind „Foto-Objekte“ im doppelten Sinne: Abbildungen von Objekten und materielle Objekte zugleich.

Von Anbeginn waren Fotografien wichtige methodische Instrumente in den verschiedensten Wissensgebieten: Ob Ausgrabungsfunde, Menschen in Tracht, Kunst im Museum oder Schneeflocken unter dem Mikroskop – durch die Fotografie wurden solche Forschungsgegenstände aus ihren ursprünglichen Zusammenhängen gelöst, in einheitliche und transportable Formate gebracht, neu kontextualisiert und vergleichbar gemacht. Gerade die materiellen Qualitäten der Fotografien haben deren Einsatz in den Wissenschaften entscheidend geprägt, indem sie bestimmte Gebrauchsweisen nahelegen, einige ermöglichen und andere ausschließen. Eingriffe in und Handlungen mit Fotografien machten und machen aus ihnen für die Wissenschaften verwendbare „Foto-Objekte“. Damit wurden sie archivierbar, klassifizierbar und konnten so den Bedürfnissen einer positivistischen Wissenschaftskultur mit ihrem Anspruch auf „Objektivität“ entgegenkommen. Die Konturierung zahlreicher akademischer Disziplinen ist daher ohne die Fotografie nicht denkbar. Hierzu trug die Bildung spezialisierter Fotoarchive als Schnittstellen von Technologie und Forschung bei. Sie waren und sind Laboratorien wissenschaftlichen Denkens, in denen Objekte aller Art als Teil eines materiellen und dynamischen Wissenssystems miteinander inter- und reagieren – von „Foto-Objekten“ in ihren diversen Manifestationsformen über Aufbewahrungsmöbel bis hin zu Karteikarten, Inventarbüchern, Referenzlisten, Grafiken und illustrierten Publikationen.

Unter der Prämisse fotografischer Materialität untersucht das Symposium das epistemologische Potential von analogen und digitalen Fotografien und Foto-Archiven in den Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften. Beiträge aus allen Disziplinen sind willkommen und sollen im Rahmen der Tagung aus einer komparatistischen Perspektive diskutiert werden. Diese Beiträge können Fallstudien oder auch theoretisch-methodische Untersuchungen umfassen. Besonders erwünscht sind daneben vergleichend angelegte Präsentationen. Im Sinne eines methodologisch-selbstreflexiven Ansatzes soll darüber hinaus auch die Konzeptionalisierung der Materialität und Mobilität von Fotografien durch Begriffe wie „Biografie“, „Itinerar“ oder „Netzwerk“ kritisch in den Blick genommen werden. Neben materialen Aspekten fotografischer Praktiken in den Wissenschaften zählen zu den möglichen Themenbereichen (jedoch nicht ausschließlich):

  • die Zirkulation und Distribution von Fotografien,
  • die Konstruktion Disziplinen-spezifischer Methoden im Umgang mit Fotografien,
  • Ordnungs- und Klassifikationspraktiken sowie Arbeitsprozesse in Foto-Archiven,
  • sowie Fotografien in verschiedenen institutionellen Kontexten (Archive, Museen, Forschungseinrichtungen, Labore).

Keynote-Speakers: Lorraine Daston, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin / Elizabeth Edwards, De Montfort University, Leicester.

Teil des Symposiums ist ein Workshop über das Projekt „Foto-Objekte“.

Bitte senden Sie thematisch einschlägige Abstracts (300 Wörter, deutsch oder englisch, die Vorträge sollen auf Englisch gehalten werden) für einen maximal 25-minütigen Vortrag zusammen mit einem kurzen CV bis zum 15.07.2016 an: julia.baernighausen@khi.fi.it. Die Auswahl der Vorträge wird im September 2016 bekanntgegeben.

Geplant ist eine zeitnahe Publikation der Tagungsergebnisse. Wir bitten daher darum, bei der Vorbereitung der Vorträge diese bereits als Manuskript zu konzipieren.

Reise- sowie Übernachtungskosten werden übernommen.

Konzept: Julia Bärnighausen, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut / Costanza Caraffa, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut / Stefanie Klamm, Sammlung Fotografie der Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Franka Schneider, Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Petra Wodtke, Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

Organisation: Costanza Caraffa und Julia Bärnighausen, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut.

Call for Papers: „Photo-Objects. On the Materiality of Photographs and Photo-Archives in the Humanities and Sciences“, Symposium at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, February 15th-17th 2017, Deadline: July 15th 2016

A conference of the collaboration project „Photo-Objects. Photographs as Research Objects in Archaeology, Ethnology and Art History”, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut / Sammlung Fotografie der Kunstbibliothek and Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, www.fotobjekt.hypotheses.org.

Photographs are not only images, but also historically shaped three-dimensional objects. They hold a physical presence, bear traces of handling and use and circulate in social, political and institutional networks. Beyond their visual content they are now increasingly acknowledged as material “actors” not only indexically representing the objects they depict but also playing a crucial role in the processes of meaning-making within scientific practices. Thus, photographs lead a double existence as both pictures of objects and material objects in their own right.

Most scientific disciplines rapidly adopted photography as an important research tool to document everything from excavation sites, costumes and artworks in museums to snowflakes under a microscope – through photographs such objects of research, were detached from their original surroundings, put in standardized and transportable formats, newly contextualized and made comparable. Especially the material qualities of photographs have shaped their adoption in the various disciplines by affording certain types of uses. Inscriptions in and the handling of photographs made “photo-objects” applicable to the sciences and humanities. This way they could be classified, archived and thus satisfy the positivistic demand for “objectivity”. The formation and definition of many academic disciplines is therefore not conceivable without photography. These processes were encouraged by the foundation of specialized photo-archives as interfaces of technology and science. They were and still are laboratories of scientific thought, in which objects of all kinds are part of a dynamic and material system of knowledge, interacting with and reacting to each other – from “photo-objects” in their various manifestations to storage furniture, card catalogues, inventory books, reference lists, prints and illustrated publications.

Taking photographic materiality as its premise the conference will analyze the epistemological potential of analog and digital photographs and photo archives in the humanities and sciences. Contributions from all disciplines are welcome and will be discussed from a comparative point of view. These contributions can include case studies as well as theoretical or methodological reflections. Comparative presentations are especially encouraged. The conference also aims to critically examine the conceptualization of photographic materiality and mobility through such terms as “biography”, “itinerary” and “network” from a methodological and self-reflexive perspective. Apart from the material aspects of photographic practices in the humanities and sciences, topics of interest may include (but are not limited to):

  • the circulation and distribution of photographs,
  • the construction of methods through the handling and use of photographs in the various disciplines,
  • arrangement, classification and working processes in photo-archives,
  • as well as photographs in different institutions (i.e. archives, museums, research institutes and laboratories).

Keynote-Speakers: Lorraine Daston, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin / Elizabeth Edwards, De Montfort University, Leicester.

Part of the conference will be a workshop on the “Photo-Objects” project.

Please send abstracts (300 words, German or English) with a short CV until July 15th 2016 to: julia.baernighausen@khi.fi.it. The presentations will be given in English and should not exceed 25 minutes. The choice of presentations will be announced in September 2016.

As we intend to publish soon after the conference, keep in mind the production of your finished manuscript when preparing your presentation.

Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.

Concept: Julia Bärnighausen, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz / Costanza Caraffa, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut / Stefanie Klamm, Sammlung Fotografie der Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Franka Schneider, Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Petra Wodtke, Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

Organization: Costanza Caraffa und Julia Bärnighausen, Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut.

Photography: Between Anthropology and History

Annual Conference of the Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, June 20th-21st 2016.

Keynote Speakers: Professor Steve Edwards (Open University, UK) and Dr Wayne Modest (National Museum for World Cultures, Leiden, The Netherlands)

On the occasion of Professor Elizabeth Edwards’ retirement, the 2016 PHRC Annual International Conference will address themes from her complex and wide ranging scholarship on the cultural work of current and historical social photographic practices. Thus, Photography: Between Anthropology and History aims to showcase scholarship driven by engagements with research methodologies that informed the material and ethnographic turns in the study of photographic history, and opened up a variety of innovative critical spaces for the re/consideration of photography and its history.

Download: Provisional Programme

(Source: https://photographichistory.wordpress.com/annual-conference-2016/, 10.05.2016, 15:56)

New Book „The Death of the Poet“ by Elisabeth Tonnard

This literary artist book by Elisabeth Tonnard excerpts texts from the biographies of nineteen different poets to fabricate one single, time and space crossing, remarkable story.

B&w digital printing, paperback, size 13 x 19 cm, 48 pages.

Edition of 125 copies, not numbered.

See more information on this page.

The book will be launched at Offprint London taking place at Tate Modern from May 20-22. You can find it at the table Tonnard is sharing with  Joachim Schmid.

There is also an installation version of the work: See here how it was shown in Tonnard’s solo show ‘The Library’ at Galerie Block C in Groningen.

The arists Elisabeth Tonnard and Joachim Schmid visited the photo libraray of the KHI in March 2016 and wrote about their experience on our Blog.

Looking Closer

In March 2016 the artists Elisabeth Tonnard and Joachim Schmid visited the Photo Libarary of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. This is their account of what they experienced:

„There is a difference between reading a few sentences about a collection such as that of the Photothek, or seeing a few of its scanned images online, and experiencing such a collection physically. Walking past the many shelves in Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai is like walking past a gigantic organism sleeping in a cave. We see the countless similarly pale archival boxes, we feel how much these boxes weigh from the folders full of photographs tucked away inside them, we start to wonder how many different kinds of paper were used as paper supports for photographs, as labels for the boxes, as cards for the catalogue, and how many handwritings, typewriters and printers have replaced each other over the years. Looking closer over a series of days, it becomes apparent that the archive knows imperfections. There is a difference seeing a digitized image online and seeing an albumen print pasted to a paper support with what looks like the wrong kind of glue, causing the print to wrinkle. Looking closer, the archive reveals its absurdities. An image of the Golden Gate Bridge is not so strange perhaps in an art history collection, but it may easily become like a readymade conceptual artwork when it is put together with one other image – an aerial photograph of the Pentagon clipped from a magazine – in a folder generously labelled “U.S.A.”. In between we imagine traveling across the blank prairies. Some of the archival boxes indicate the blank spaces they contain by the question “Wo?” (Where?) as part of their labels, just like many of the catalogue cards indicate uncertainties in the interpretation of pictured scenes by having question marks behind their subject titles or by having subject titles crossed out and replaced by other proposals. A picture postcard from a site in Corfu or Corsica is also not so strange perhaps, but it becomes a thing of wonder when one finds it filed under architecture in an archive of photographic documentation of art. Why are not all postcards systematically collected, or all photographs found  in magazines? It soon turns out the few samples we find happen to be gifts from individuals. What entered the archive at times seems crushingly random. The archive that from the outside looks so impeccably structured and fixed, in fact is full of inconsistencies and surprises. These of course also account for its charm and perhaps we could even say for its resemblance to the outside world. In this, the archive knows beauty. Looking closer, we find beauty also, and especially, in details of images; in photos of buildings, streets, squares there are unintentional and unexpected portraits of passers-by, there is laundry hanging out of windows, there is garbage in the streets, there are other worlds shimmering in mirrors. We can read such details as unintentional signs of resistance against the absolute authority of the archive that is so manifest in its bureaucratic surface of filing and labeling.“ 

Elisabeth Tonnard / https://elisabethtonnard.com/               
Joachim Schmid / https://schmid.wordpress.com/
March 2016

Photos: Stefano Fancelli, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz Max-PlanckInstitut, 2016

Collecting, Exhibiting and Preserving in Museums of Applied Arts in the Nineteenth Century

Conference at the University of Bern, April 7th and 8th 2016

Collecting Exhibiting Preserving 2In recent times research concerning the history of collections and collecting strategies of nineteenth-century institutions has enjoyed widespread popularity. The Colloquium „Collecting, Exhibiting and Preserving in Museums of Applied Arts in the Nineteenth Century“ will place emphasis on a type of institution that has so far been largely neglected, the museums of applied arts. The papers presented will underline the innovative character of this museum type in the nineteenth century, its influence and interactions as well as its transformation process. Furthermore the conference offers a platform to discuss methodological strategies for the research of museums of applied arts as a collecting institution, not least through transdisciplinary approaches.

Download: Collecting Exhibiting & Preserving Program

University of Bern
Hauptgebäude
Hochschulstrasse 4
Room 501
CH–3012 Bern

(Source: CONF: Collecting, Exhibiting and Preserving (Bern, 7-8 Apr 16). In: H-ArtHist, Feb 6, 2016. <http://arthist.net/archive/12165>.)

Akram Zaatari: Working with photography, photographs and photo archives from an artist’s perspective

Lecture and Screening „Refusing Pilot“ at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, February 15th 2016, 6 pm

Akram ZataariAkram Zaatari (born Lebanon, 1966) is an image-maker, curator, writer and archivist who lives and works in Beirut. He is widely known for his expansive practice in photography and filmmaking which reflects on the collecting, archiving and dissemination of such images and the performative role they play in the formation of individual and communal identities and histories. This sensibility was formed in the course of living through fifteen years of war in Lebanon, watching it unfold and recording it as a teenager. He has spent much of the last decade excavating the archive of Studio Sheherazade, established in 1953 by Hashem al-Madani in Saida, South Lebanon, Zaatari’s city of origin. His practice is rooted in collecting and recontextualizing a wide range of personal documents in order to create video and photo narratives. Especially from this point of view his work is of greatest interest with regard to the changing function of the Photothek from a mere collection of photographs to a laboratory for the humanities, concerned with photographs as social, material objects within the ecosystem of the Archive.

February 15th 2016, 6 pm
Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz Max-Planck-Institut
Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Florence, Italy

(Source: http://www.khi.fi.it/5366502/20160215_Zaatari)

Program: „Photo Archives. The Paradigm of Objectivity“, 25.-26. February 2016, Los Angeles, The Getty Center & The Huntington

Photo Archives SymposionThe official program of the symposium (see post below) is available now:

Photo Archives: The Paradigm of Objectivity Program

This symposium explores the relationship among photographic reproduction technologies, archival practices, and concepts of objectivity, with an interdisciplinary outlook and a focus on art history.

Organized by Anne Blecksmith (The Huntington), Costanza Caraffa (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut), and Tracey Schuster (Getty Research Institute), and sponsored by the Getty Research Institute and The Huntington.

Source: http://www.khi.fi.it/5334659/20160225_PhotoArchives-V.

Fund-Objekte: Spiegelungen. Spurensuche am „Foto-Objekt“

Nicht identifizierter Fotograf, Spiegel, zweite Hälfte 18. Jahrhundert, Albuminpapier, 27,2 x 15,1 cm (Foto), Inv. Nr. 614519 (Abt. Kunstgewerbe Holz)Mein erstes Lieblingsobjekt – gefunden unter den so genannten „Dubletten und Varia“ in der Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz. Bei dieser Abteilung handelt es sich um einen nicht inventarisierten Sonderbestand. Erst mit seiner Entdeckung im November 2015 erhielt der Abzug eine Inventarnummer. Eine „Dublette“ beziehungsweise eine auch nur annähernd ähnliche Aufnahme wurde bisher im Phototheksbestand nicht gefunden. Dieser wunderbare Albuminabzug auf Karton zeigt einen gerahmten Spiegel, datiert in die zweite Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts. Die Spiegeloberfläche reflektiert die Szene im Moment des Auslösens: den teils gepflasterten Boden, die Fassade eines gegenüberliegenden Gebäudes, ein Pferd vor einem Wagen, eine Plattenkamera, deren Stativ sich vermutlich hinter den Holzkisten verbirgt und rechts daneben die verschwommenen Konturen einer stehenden Person, vielleicht die des Fotografen. Die erwähnte Fassade  gehört zu dem Palazzo Borghese in Rom, dessen Erdgeschoss die auf Verkauf und Reproduktion von Antiquitäten spezialisierte Galleria Sangiorgi beherbergte. Auf der Rückseite des Abzuges ist der Stempel der Galerie zu sehen, ergänzt durch handschriftliche Notizen zum Kunstwerk und den Vermerk „Vendu“ („Verkauft“). Die Galleria Sangiorgi wurde 1892 von dem Unternehmer Giuseppe Sangiorgi in Rom gegründet. Seit dem frühen 20. Jahrhundert beschäftigte er außerdem Künstler, die in einer Werkstatt  Kopien der originalen Kunstwerke aus der Sammlung der Galerie anfertigten, um die damals sehr hohe Nachfrage nach Antiquitäten zu decken. Auch Fotografen waren bei Sangiorgi angestellt: Vermutlich wurden die uns bekannten Fotoabzüge als Ansichtsexemplare für seine Kunden verwendet. Möglicherweise dienten sie aber auch den Künstlern der Werkstatt als Vorbildersammlung. Vor diesem versoHintergrund ist anzunehmen, dass der hier abgebildete Spiegel von Sangiorgi im Palazzo Borghese verkauft wurde und dass die Fotografie in diesem Kontext entstanden ist. Die Frage, ob es sich bei dem Spiegel um ein Original oder ein Produkt der Werkstatt handelt, könnte durch einen Abgleich mit den zahlreichen Sammlungs- und Verkaufskatalogen der Galerie beantwortet werden, die in vielen Bibliotheken einsehbar sind. Sowohl visuell als auch materiell ist dieses „Foto-Objekt“ hoch interessant: Im Spiel mit den Blicken zwischen Kameralinse, Betrachter und Spiegelbild eröffnen sich philosophische, kunst- und fototheoretische Welten: So könnte diese Aufnahme  zum Anlass genommen werden, die Spiegelmetapher in der Kunst auch im Hinblick auf die Fotografie zu untersuchen oder, angesichts der hier so bemerkenswerten Exponiertheit fotografischer Praktiken, die Objektivitätsrhetorik in der Fotografietheorie erneut zu hinterfragen. Die verschiedenen Ebenen der Objekthaftigkeit, von den gut erkennbaren Negativretuschen über den Abzug und seine Montierung bis hin zum digitalen Scan, machen darüber hinaus deutlich, wie viel Potential eine solche Fotografie hat, wenn sie als historisch geformtes Objekt mit einer eigenen „Biografie“ (Edwards) untersucht wird: Dabei spielt auch ihr sozialer, kultureller und institutioneller Werdegang eine Rolle,  wie zum Beispiel der Weg der Aufnahme von einer Verkaufsgalerie in ein Forschungsinstitut wie das KHI in Florenz. Bisher haben wir etwa 80 Aufnahmen von Sangiorgi, darunter vor allem Albuminabzüge, aber auch Aristotypien und Silbergelatineabzüge, entdeckt sowie mehr als 50 Spiegel-Fotografien diverser Provenienzen, in denen Umgebung, Kamera und Fotograf zu erkennen sind. Eine Auswahl kann in der Onlineausstellung des KHI „Foto-Objekte und Kunstgewerbe in der Photothek“ angesehen werden.

Julia Bärnighausen

ABBILDUNGEN: Nicht identifizierter Fotograf, Spiegel, zweite Hälfte 18. Jahrhundert, Albuminpapier auf Karton, 27,2 x 15,1 cm (Foto), um 1900, Inv. Nr. 614519 (Abt. Kunstgewerbe Holz), recto und verso, Scan v. Stefano Fancelli nach historischer Vorlage, November 2015, @ Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut.

LITERATUR: Candi, Francesca: Fotografie di archaeologia dal fondo Sangiorgi, in: I colori del bianco e nero. Fotografie storiche nella Fototeca Zeri 1870–1920, hrsg. v. Andrea Bacchi u.a., Bologna 2014, S. 99–106, Link; Castro, Francesca di: Il gusto di un’epoca e la Galleria Sangiorgi, in: Strenna dei Romanisti, Rom 2015, S. 203-216; Edwards, Elizabeth; Hart, Janice: Photographs as Objects, in: Photographs Objects Histories. On the Materiality of Images, London 2004, S. 1–15; Galleria Sangiorgi: Catalogue des Objets d’Art Ancien pour l’Année 1910 (Vorwort), Rom 1910; Loiacono, Debora: Gli arredi ‘in stile’ della Galleria Sangiorgi di Roma e qualche appunto su Umberto Giunti alias Falsario in Calcinaccio, in: Vallori Tattili, Nr. 0, Juli–Dez. 2011, S. 105–116.

Foto-Objekte und Kunstgewerbe in der Photothek

Eine Onlineausstellung des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz

2015_2_Saluto_Foto-Objekte-deSeit dem 23. November 2015 präsentiert die Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut in einer Online-Ausstellung 72 Fotografien als gegenständliche und „sprechende“ Objekte. Vorgestellt wird der Bestand „Kunstgewerbe“, welcher mit seinen heute ca. 37 000 Aufnahmen eine relativ kleine Sektion innerhalb der Photothek bildet. In ihrer Ordnung steht diese Sektion paradigmatisch für den Gattungsdiskurs des 19. Jahrhunderts, welcher die mit Handwerksarbeit assoziierten angewandten Künste den intellektuell konnotierten so genannten „freien Künsten“ unterordnete. Gleichzeitig wurde das „Kunstgewerbe“ zunehmend monographisch untersucht und im Rahmen der großen Weltausstellungen und der vielerorts neu gegründeten Kunstgewerbemuseen und -schulen präsentiert. In diesem Zusammenhang gibt die Online-Ausstellung Einblicke in die Geschichte des Bestandes und in sein Ordnungs- und Klassifikationssystem. Im Sinne eines wissenshistorischen Ansatzes werden aber auch die Fotografien selbst  als materielle Objekte verstanden, die auf verschiedenen Ebenen dinghaft wirken: Nicht nur bilden sie Gegenständliches ab, sondern sind selbst sozial, kulturell und politisch tradierte materielle Artefakte: Sie sind „Foto-Objekte“ im doppelten Sinne. Der internationale Diskurs über die Materialität von Fotografien und Fotoarchiven prägt seit einigen Jahren die Forschung an der Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz und bildet die Basis des Verbundprojektes „Foto-Objekte“. Dieser Onlineausstellung wird im Herbst 2016 eine weitere folgen, die dem Gesamtprojekt gewidmet ist.

Konzept: Julia Bärnighausen, Almut Goldhahn
Texte: Julia Bärnighausen
Seit 23. November 2015 online unter http://expo.khi.fi.it/,
Quelle: Auszug aus dem Pressetext (http://www.khi.fi.it/5341266/Foto-Objekte)