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Photo Archives VI: The Place of Photography

By Oxford University

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Description

This major international conference was 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 the sixth in the Photo Archives conference series. This conference took place on April 20–21, 2017. The conference investigated photographs and photographic archives in relation to notions of place. In this context, place was 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 were 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 addressed 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? It was 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.