UNFIXED is a project that explores the relation between photography, postcolonial perspectives and contemporary art. It includes an exhibition, symposium, workshop, artist commission-residency, and a resulting publication. The title refers to the unfixed nature of photography. It explores the elusive "truth" of photography and its relationship to ideas of ethnicity, culture and identity in contemporary art.
Participating artists: Charif Benhelima (BE), Otobong Nkanga (FR), Keith Piper (UK), Naro Snackey (NL), Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (USA) and Hank Willis Thomas (USA). Keynote speaker and essayist: Kobena Mercer (UK).
We invite scholars, artists, writers and professionals to submit proposals for visual and/or textual presentations or papers on topics relating to UNFIXED. We will consider all proposals for symposium presentations and/or publication contributions. Focus point: Unfixing photography’s fixed representations of cultural heritage, ethnicity and identity.
UNFIXED is initiated and developed by curators Asmara Pelupessy and Sara Blokland (Stichting UNFIXED Projects). It is organized in cooperation with Centrum Beeldende Kunst (Center for Contemporary Art), Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
In recent decades, artist and theorists around the world have critically reflected on photography’s role in colonial, migrant and diasporic histories. They have unfixed photography, questioning the process of production, who is looking, whose history is represented and what the photographic image is staging. In this line, UNFIXED proposes an encounter with photography’s own reflective history, looking back while looking forward, continuing to dissolve ideas of photographic truth and cultural identity as essential and unchanging through photographic practices that are innovative, self-reflexive and critical.
UNFIXED aims to contribute to the Netherlands’ relatively young discussion about postcolonialism’s relation to photography. The project will bring together an international group of contemporary artists and scholars with personal relations to migration, colonial history and cultural diaspora, researching and reflecting on photographic histories, as well as constructing new ones. UNFIXED avoids imposing narratives about the past and
future onto the project’s artworks, presentations and essays. Instead, we embrace the narratives and strategies proposed in the works as points of departure. In the same fashion as many of the invited artists, UNFIXED hopes to blur the lines between art practice, scholarly research and cultural activism.
Proposals could approach the themes of UNFIXED through a broad range of topics concerning photographic practice, history and/or archives. Proposals could deal with deconstruction, reconstruction, collage, appropriation, politics, regionalism and location, subjectivity and/or authorship within photography. They could also concern photography’s relationship to other media, vernacular photography, found photography, documentary photography and/or visual culture. Some key theoretical points that strongly relate to the project include cultural hybridity and transculture. Proposals could also consider current political discussions about culture (assimilation and integration) as they relate to visual culture and photography. We hope to receive proposals that look at the inventive aspects of photography.
- We welcome proposals for both or either platform (publication/symposium)
- Next to ‘traditional’ essays we welcome proposals for visual essays, which can include vernacular or found photography, and/or photo-works made by applicants, etc.
- We encourage proposals for essays or presentations with innovative formats (performance-based presentations, multimedia projects etc.)
Please find a detailed Call for Proposals on our website www.unfixedprojects.org. Questions and proposals can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line - CFP.
The deadline for proposals is 30 June 2010.
Successful applicants will be notified by 15 July 2010.
Full papers/presentations should be submitted by 15 September 2010.
A small financial contribution is available for travel and accommodation for those invited to present at the symposium. This will be distributed according to distance and need.
Exhibition: 23 October – 4 December 2010
Symposium: 16 November 2010
Workshop: 15 November 2010
Publication: December 2010
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