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Durham University

Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

Previous Events

List of months

Friday 4 July 2014

Classicism and the East: receptions of the oriental in European architecture

10:00am to 5:30pm, Durham University, Department of Classics & Ancient History, Edmund Thomas

Where studies of Italian Renaissance architecture have focused on the impact of the antique, they have been directed at the influence of western Roman buildings, particularly those in Italy and southern France, and neglected the role played in Renaissance designs by buildings of the ancient East of Greek, Roman and other ancient cultures. It is also some three to four decades since the work of Margaret Lyttelton, Anthony Blunt and William MacDonald began to explore the possible links between the early modern baroque and its ancient counterpart, most clearly seen in the buildings of the eastern Roman empire, and the impact of the architecture of non-classical cultures of the ancient East on European classicism remains to be investigated. How far was European classicism nurtured by a dialogue with the ancient East, not just Greek and Roman buildings, but the ancient oriental architecture? Bringing together the interests of Durham’s two classical research centres, the Durham Centre for Classical Reception (DCCR) and the Centre for the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East (CAMNE), this one-day workshop will reconsider the legacy of the ancient architecture of the eastern Mediterranean for the architecture of early modern Europe. A final open-panel session “Reconfiguring the Baroque” will explore stylistic relations between ancient architecture with “baroque” characteristics and its early modern counterpart and discuss the possible development of a research network grant application on the baroque in ancient and early modern culture.

Contact e.v.thomas@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Thursday 10 July 2014

Shedding Light on the Galilee

9:00am to 5:00pm, Priors Hall, Cathedral Close, Durham (entrance from North and South Bailey), Participants: Daniela Amadei (CSV), Laura Bertuccioli (CSV), John Crook, Peter Fane-Saunders (DU), Andy Monkman (DU), Iain Ruxton (S&M), Edmund Thomas (DU)

Thursday 10th July 2014:

Public Presentations

Participants: Daniela Amadei (CSV), Laura Bertuccioli (CSV), John Crook, Peter Fane-Saunders (DU), Andy Monkman (DU), Iain Ruxton (S&M), Edmund Thomas (DU)

Venue: Priors Hall, Cathedral Close, Durham (entrance from North and South Bailey)

Admission by ticket only (due to limited seating). Tickets can be obtained from the Gala Theatre, Durham (03000 266600), or on the day from the Department of Classics & Ancient History, 38 North Bailey (0191 3341691).

 

Presentations:

(1) General project context: architectural lighting in antiquity and Middle Ages (ET)

(2) Vitruvius’ basilica and its later history: new proposals for lighting (LB/DA)

(3) Vitruvius in Durham: transmission of the manuscript (ET)

(4) The Galilee in its medieval context: purpose, structure and lighting (JC)

(5) Organic lighting and its possibilities for reconstruction (AM/IR)

(6) Question and answer session


Still Lives in Motion: Caravaggio and Zurbaran

7:00pm to 10:00pm, Auckland Castle, Stefano Cracolici

Stefano Cracolici of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture will give a public lecture on ‘Still Lives in Motion: Caravaggio and Zurbaran, at Auckland Castle, Thursday 10th July 2014, 7pm.

Contact enquiries@aucklandcastle.org for more information about this event.


Friday 11 July 2014

Centre for Visual Arts and Culture: Annual General Meeting

9:30am to 4:30pm, Durham Business School

This year’s CVAC AGM has been designed to serve three purposes: to encourage networking amongst members, to present for discussion the draft CVAC strategy for 2014 – 2017, and to open up discussion on opportunities for cultural engagement and working with key partners.

To encourage research networking, we have set aside time in the programme for discussion sessions under the heading of ‘Research “Show and Tell”. We are hoping that these sessions will offer an informal opportunity for all members of CVAC to talk about their research interests. For this to work, we would simply ask that all members bring to the meeting an image or object related to their research interests that might be used to spark conversation with others.

We are very keen that all members contribute to shaping the direction that CVAC takes in the next three years (including identifying priority areas for collaborative research) and hope that as many members as possible are able to attend this meeting to comment on the CVAC strategic plan.

CVAC has a role to play in the development of Cultural Engagement initiatives at Durham and so we have decided to devote the afternoon session to a roundtable on cultural engagement, with panellists from the university and also a presentation from one of our partner organisations, Auckland Castle. The meeting is open to all and I would encourage you to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested in CVAC’s plans and activities.

We would, however, ask you to confirm your attendance by sending an email to cvac@durham.ac.uk by 7th July 2014 so that we can confirm catering.

Programme

9am – 9.30am Arrival 9.30am Welcome: Janet Stewart 9.45am Introduction to Steering Committee Members 10.00am Presentation of Draft CVAC Strategy 2014 – 2017 and Programme of Events for 2014/2015 10.30am Coffee Break 11am – 12.15pm Research ‘Show and Tell’ I / Working Groups to discuss CVAC strategy 12.15pm – 1.30pm Lunch 1.30pm – 3pm Roundtable on Cultural Engagement and Partnerships chaired by Ludmilla Jordanova, with presentations by: David Cowling, PVC Arts & Humanities Keith Bartlett, Director of Cultural Engagement Hazel Edwards, Senior Engagement Manager Chris Ferguson, Senior Curator, Auckland Castle Followed by questions and discussion 3pm – 3.30pm Coffee Break 3.30pm – 4.30pm Research ‘Show and Tell’ II / Working Groups to discuss cultural engagement 4.30pm Closing Remarks 5.30pm – 7pm Evening Reception: Venue TBC


Centre for Visual Arts and Culture: Annual General Meeting

9:30am to 4:30pm, Durham Business School

This year’s CVAC AGM has been designed to serve three purposes: to encourage networking amongst members, to present for discussion the draft CVAC strategy for 2014 – 2017, and to open up discussion on opportunities for cultural engagement and working with key partners.


Tuesday 15 July 2014

Photography and the concept of cultural translation: salvation or problematic?

4:00pm to 5:30pm, Kingsley Barrett Theatre of Durham University’s Calman Building

Convenors: Professor Elizabeth Edwards (IAS 2012), Professor Jonathan Long (Durham)

Conference Panel forming part of the Durham Institute of Advanced Study conference on Transfusion and Transformation: the Creative Potential of Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange, July 15th – 17th 2014

The panel takes place 4pm – 5.30pm on Thursday 15th July in the Kingsley Barrett Theatre of Durham University’s Calman Building.

The concept and metaphor of ‘translation’, as an approach to practices and effects, has become increasingly widespread across a range of disciplines: archaeology, history, anthropology, cultural studies and, of course, the field of translation studies itself, in a symbiotic flow of key concepts. T

This panel will bring together a group of interdisciplinary scholars to consider the act and object of photography as an form of cultural translation that moves a set of experiences – the war zone, the ritual event, the everyday – from one space of understanding to another.

The panel asks for whom, and under what circumstances can photographs be seen as acts of translation? How does this intersect with our understanding of ‘representation’? To what extent is photography assumed to be a universal language? To what extent is photography, as an act of translation, assumed, that is at the same time, to transcend that translation in the global flow of representations/ images? To what extent does photography claim or challenge universal categories of comprehension? Does it assume unproblematic and mutually exchangeable accessibility? What is its cultural shaping in the act of apprehension? How is the act of translation disrupted by moments of incomprehension?

Contributors will be asked specifically to bring recent thinking in translation theory to new thinking on photographic analysis to explore synergies and problems. Is ‘cultural translation’ an exhausted metaphor that assumes the universality of photographic meaning, or does it open a space in which the analysis of the cultural work of photographs can be enriched and refigured by thinking through the act of translation itself?

It is significant how many ‘trans-‘ words cluster around attempts to understand the social and cultural efficacy of photography – not only translation itself but transaction, transcription, transfiguration, transubstantiation, even transgression. Linguistic models have had a profound influence on photographic analysis in the past few decades. Translation promises to enrich photography studies because it adds a dynamic, diachronic, and dialogic dimension to our understanding of photography and the multiple acts of interpretation to which it perforce gives rise.

Papers

Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan/York)

“Law and image as translation: photographs and maps go to court”

Legal evidence depends on the tension between transparency and translation, which may be defined as the process of translating words or text from one language into another, the conversion of something from one form or medium into another, or the process of moving something from one place to another. Photography’s introduction into the courtroom during the middle years of the nineteenth century transformed the practice of law: how lawyers constructed and argued their cases, presented evidence to juries, and communicated with each other. How were photographs used and perceived in the courtroom and in wider culture, and how did they affect judicial decision making and public perceptions of justice? This paper explores how, when, and why legal practice moved from a largely words-only environment to one more dependent on and driven by images, and how rapidly developing technologies have further accelerated this change. Building on recent work in legal and historical scholarship and translation studies, I show examples from a wide range of actual trials and 19th and 20th century evidence manuals to illustrate and explore the idea of photography as a ‘universal language’ or an ‘immediacy,’ but one that is itself an act of translation.

 

Elizabeth Edwards (de Montfort)

“The same everywhere? Photographic ethnographies and the challenge to universal translation.”

This paper will address the destabilising potential of ethnographic studies of photography on classic, linguistically-based theories of photographic universality. It will argue that the qualities of direct translation and comprehensibility which have been widely debated in western photography, and which have been at the base of critiques of global image flows, from The Family of Man exhibition to the internet, are complicated by the different social demands and expectations brought to photographs. Drawing on recent work from Australia, India, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, the paper will argue that resistance to the idea of photography as universal translation has been grounded in the politics of representation and western hegemonies, but have largely excluded other ‘reclaimings of the real’ through which photographs are made to speak ‘different dialects’.

 

Janet Stewart (Durham)

“Photography, Petroleum Museums and the Sociology of Translation”

As Elizabeth Edwards (2013) has recently pointed out, despite the considerable body of critical literature that has been produced over recent decades in both photography theory and museology, the question of the role that photography plays in museums has only seldom been subjected to extended analysis. Notable contributions to this field include Gaby Porter’s (1989) essay on ‘The Economy of Truth’ and Edwards’s Raw Histories (2001), as well as recent contributions to Museum & Society (Stylianou-Lambert and Bounia 2012; Edwards and Mead 2013). This paper seeks to intervene in on-going debate about the use of photographs in museums by exploring the efficacy of employing the concept of ‘translation’ to shed light on the complex lives of photographs in these institutions. While Stylianou-Lambert and Bounia focus on photography in war museums, and Edwards and Mead turn their attention to the place of photographs in museum displays that engage with the colonial past, this paper focuses on the way in which photographs appear in museum displays that seek to narrate aspects of Europe’s oil history (another form of contested heritage). Focusing on the recently renovated oil and gas display in Aberdeen’s Maritime Museum, but drawing upon material from other European petroleum museums, this paper will attend to the multiple ways in which photography is employed in these institutions, analysing not only the displays but also marketing literature and other ephemera. The theoretical framework through which these photographic works – understood as both images and as objects – will be approached will draw upon the ‘sociology of translation’, developed by Bruno Latour and Michel Serres. Their focus on the relational nature of translation seems apposite when seeking to think through the particular example of the Petroleum Museum, an institution designed to mediate between technology and culture.

 

Jonathan Long (Durham)

“Translation in/of Photomontage”

In 1924, German designer and photomonteur John Heartfield produced a photomontage entitled 20 Years After: Fathers and Sons (Zwanzig Jahre danach: Väter und Söhne). The image uses a variety of motivic repetition known as translation or translational symmetry. This involves the serial repetition of a motif along a horizontal or vertical axis: moving a motif from one place to another. While easy to effect in simple abstract patterns, it is only practically possible with complex figurative subjects by means of photography. Translation, in this sense, is a quasi-universal operation, a form of visual organisation that can be found in cultural artefacts produced in most if not all societies. However, photomontage as form of political propaganda requires highly specific kinds of translation if it is to be effective. If it is so polysemous that it is incapable of translation into more or less determinate propositional content, it fails as propaganda. So this paper will map the universal translational capacities of photography onto the specific forms of translation demanded by the photomontage in order to develop an understanding of the operations and limitations of translation as both a photographic process and an explanatory schema.


Photography and the concept of cultural translation: salvation or problematic?

4:00pm to 5:30pm, Kingsley Barrett Theatre, Calman Learning Centre, Durham University

The concept and metaphor of ‘translation’, as an approach to practices and effects, has become increasingly widespread across a range of disciplines: archaeology, history, anthropology, cultural studies and, of course, the field of translation studies itself, in a symbiotic flow of key concepts.


Wednesday 16 July 2014

Photography and the concept of cultural translation: salvation or problematic?

4:00pm to 5:30pm, Kingsley Barrett Theatre of Durham University’s Calman Building

Convenors: Professor Elizabeth Edwards (IAS 2012), Professor Jonathan Long (Durham)

Conference Panel forming part of the Durham Institute of Advanced Study conference on Transfusion and Transformation: the Creative Potential of Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange, July 15th – 17th 2014

The panel takes place 4pm – 5.30pm on Thursday 15th July in the Kingsley Barrett Theatre of Durham University’s Calman Building.

The concept and metaphor of ‘translation’, as an approach to practices and effects, has become increasingly widespread across a range of disciplines: archaeology, history, anthropology, cultural studies and, of course, the field of translation studies itself, in a symbiotic flow of key concepts. T

This panel will bring together a group of interdisciplinary scholars to consider the act and object of photography as an form of cultural translation that moves a set of experiences – the war zone, the ritual event, the everyday – from one space of understanding to another.

The panel asks for whom, and under what circumstances can photographs be seen as acts of translation? How does this intersect with our understanding of ‘representation’? To what extent is photography assumed to be a universal language? To what extent is photography, as an act of translation, assumed, that is at the same time, to transcend that translation in the global flow of representations/ images? To what extent does photography claim or challenge universal categories of comprehension? Does it assume unproblematic and mutually exchangeable accessibility? What is its cultural shaping in the act of apprehension? How is the act of translation disrupted by moments of incomprehension?

Contributors will be asked specifically to bring recent thinking in translation theory to new thinking on photographic analysis to explore synergies and problems. Is ‘cultural translation’ an exhausted metaphor that assumes the universality of photographic meaning, or does it open a space in which the analysis of the cultural work of photographs can be enriched and refigured by thinking through the act of translation itself?

It is significant how many ‘trans-‘ words cluster around attempts to understand the social and cultural efficacy of photography – not only translation itself but transaction, transcription, transfiguration, transubstantiation, even transgression. Linguistic models have had a profound influence on photographic analysis in the past few decades. Translation promises to enrich photography studies because it adds a dynamic, diachronic, and dialogic dimension to our understanding of photography and the multiple acts of interpretation to which it perforce gives rise.

Papers

Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan/York)

“Law and image as translation: photographs and maps go to court”

Legal evidence depends on the tension between transparency and translation, which may be defined as the process of translating words or text from one language into another, the conversion of something from one form or medium into another, or the process of moving something from one place to another. Photography’s introduction into the courtroom during the middle years of the nineteenth century transformed the practice of law: how lawyers constructed and argued their cases, presented evidence to juries, and communicated with each other. How were photographs used and perceived in the courtroom and in wider culture, and how did they affect judicial decision making and public perceptions of justice? This paper explores how, when, and why legal practice moved from a largely words-only environment to one more dependent on and driven by images, and how rapidly developing technologies have further accelerated this change. Building on recent work in legal and historical scholarship and translation studies, I show examples from a wide range of actual trials and 19th and 20th century evidence manuals to illustrate and explore the idea of photography as a ‘universal language’ or an ‘immediacy,’ but one that is itself an act of translation.

 

Elizabeth Edwards (de Montfort)

“The same everywhere? Photographic ethnographies and the challenge to universal translation.”

This paper will address the destabilising potential of ethnographic studies of photography on classic, linguistically-based theories of photographic universality. It will argue that the qualities of direct translation and comprehensibility which have been widely debated in western photography, and which have been at the base of critiques of global image flows, from The Family of Man exhibition to the internet, are complicated by the different social demands and expectations brought to photographs. Drawing on recent work from Australia, India, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, the paper will argue that resistance to the idea of photography as universal translation has been grounded in the politics of representation and western hegemonies, but have largely excluded other ‘reclaimings of the real’ through which photographs are made to speak ‘different dialects’.

 

Janet Stewart (Durham)

“Photography, Petroleum Museums and the Sociology of Translation”

As Elizabeth Edwards (2013) has recently pointed out, despite the considerable body of critical literature that has been produced over recent decades in both photography theory and museology, the question of the role that photography plays in museums has only seldom been subjected to extended analysis. Notable contributions to this field include Gaby Porter’s (1989) essay on ‘The Economy of Truth’ and Edwards’s Raw Histories (2001), as well as recent contributions to Museum & Society (Stylianou-Lambert and Bounia 2012; Edwards and Mead 2013). This paper seeks to intervene in on-going debate about the use of photographs in museums by exploring the efficacy of employing the concept of ‘translation’ to shed light on the complex lives of photographs in these institutions. While Stylianou-Lambert and Bounia focus on photography in war museums, and Edwards and Mead turn their attention to the place of photographs in museum displays that engage with the colonial past, this paper focuses on the way in which photographs appear in museum displays that seek to narrate aspects of Europe’s oil history (another form of contested heritage). Focusing on the recently renovated oil and gas display in Aberdeen’s Maritime Museum, but drawing upon material from other European petroleum museums, this paper will attend to the multiple ways in which photography is employed in these institutions, analysing not only the displays but also marketing literature and other ephemera. The theoretical framework through which these photographic works – understood as both images and as objects – will be approached will draw upon the ‘sociology of translation’, developed by Bruno Latour and Michel Serres. Their focus on the relational nature of translation seems apposite when seeking to think through the particular example of the Petroleum Museum, an institution designed to mediate between technology and culture.

 

Jonathan Long (Durham)

“Translation in/of Photomontage”

In 1924, German designer and photomonteur John Heartfield produced a photomontage entitled 20 Years After: Fathers and Sons (Zwanzig Jahre danach: Väter und Söhne). The image uses a variety of motivic repetition known as translation or translational symmetry. This involves the serial repetition of a motif along a horizontal or vertical axis: moving a motif from one place to another. While easy to effect in simple abstract patterns, it is only practically possible with complex figurative subjects by means of photography. Translation, in this sense, is a quasi-universal operation, a form of visual organisation that can be found in cultural artefacts produced in most if not all societies. However, photomontage as form of political propaganda requires highly specific kinds of translation if it is to be effective. If it is so polysemous that it is incapable of translation into more or less determinate propositional content, it fails as propaganda. So this paper will map the universal translational capacities of photography onto the specific forms of translation demanded by the photomontage in order to develop an understanding of the operations and limitations of translation as both a photographic process and an explanatory schema.


Thursday 17 July 2014

Photography and the concept of cultural translation: salvation or problematic?

4:00pm to 5:30pm, Kingsley Barrett Theatre of Durham University’s Calman Building

Convenors: Professor Elizabeth Edwards (IAS 2012), Professor Jonathan Long (Durham)

Conference Panel forming part of the Durham Institute of Advanced Study conference on Transfusion and Transformation: the Creative Potential of Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange, July 15th – 17th 2014

The panel takes place 4pm – 5.30pm on Thursday 15th July in the Kingsley Barrett Theatre of Durham University’s Calman Building.

The concept and metaphor of ‘translation’, as an approach to practices and effects, has become increasingly widespread across a range of disciplines: archaeology, history, anthropology, cultural studies and, of course, the field of translation studies itself, in a symbiotic flow of key concepts. T

This panel will bring together a group of interdisciplinary scholars to consider the act and object of photography as an form of cultural translation that moves a set of experiences – the war zone, the ritual event, the everyday – from one space of understanding to another.

The panel asks for whom, and under what circumstances can photographs be seen as acts of translation? How does this intersect with our understanding of ‘representation’? To what extent is photography assumed to be a universal language? To what extent is photography, as an act of translation, assumed, that is at the same time, to transcend that translation in the global flow of representations/ images? To what extent does photography claim or challenge universal categories of comprehension? Does it assume unproblematic and mutually exchangeable accessibility? What is its cultural shaping in the act of apprehension? How is the act of translation disrupted by moments of incomprehension?

Contributors will be asked specifically to bring recent thinking in translation theory to new thinking on photographic analysis to explore synergies and problems. Is ‘cultural translation’ an exhausted metaphor that assumes the universality of photographic meaning, or does it open a space in which the analysis of the cultural work of photographs can be enriched and refigured by thinking through the act of translation itself?

It is significant how many ‘trans-‘ words cluster around attempts to understand the social and cultural efficacy of photography – not only translation itself but transaction, transcription, transfiguration, transubstantiation, even transgression. Linguistic models have had a profound influence on photographic analysis in the past few decades. Translation promises to enrich photography studies because it adds a dynamic, diachronic, and dialogic dimension to our understanding of photography and the multiple acts of interpretation to which it perforce gives rise.

Papers

Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan/York)

“Law and image as translation: photographs and maps go to court”

Legal evidence depends on the tension between transparency and translation, which may be defined as the process of translating words or text from one language into another, the conversion of something from one form or medium into another, or the process of moving something from one place to another. Photography’s introduction into the courtroom during the middle years of the nineteenth century transformed the practice of law: how lawyers constructed and argued their cases, presented evidence to juries, and communicated with each other. How were photographs used and perceived in the courtroom and in wider culture, and how did they affect judicial decision making and public perceptions of justice? This paper explores how, when, and why legal practice moved from a largely words-only environment to one more dependent on and driven by images, and how rapidly developing technologies have further accelerated this change. Building on recent work in legal and historical scholarship and translation studies, I show examples from a wide range of actual trials and 19th and 20th century evidence manuals to illustrate and explore the idea of photography as a ‘universal language’ or an ‘immediacy,’ but one that is itself an act of translation.

 

Elizabeth Edwards (de Montfort)

“The same everywhere? Photographic ethnographies and the challenge to universal translation.”

This paper will address the destabilising potential of ethnographic studies of photography on classic, linguistically-based theories of photographic universality. It will argue that the qualities of direct translation and comprehensibility which have been widely debated in western photography, and which have been at the base of critiques of global image flows, from The Family of Man exhibition to the internet, are complicated by the different social demands and expectations brought to photographs. Drawing on recent work from Australia, India, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, the paper will argue that resistance to the idea of photography as universal translation has been grounded in the politics of representation and western hegemonies, but have largely excluded other ‘reclaimings of the real’ through which photographs are made to speak ‘different dialects’.

 

Janet Stewart (Durham)

“Photography, Petroleum Museums and the Sociology of Translation”

As Elizabeth Edwards (2013) has recently pointed out, despite the considerable body of critical literature that has been produced over recent decades in both photography theory and museology, the question of the role that photography plays in museums has only seldom been subjected to extended analysis. Notable contributions to this field include Gaby Porter’s (1989) essay on ‘The Economy of Truth’ and Edwards’s Raw Histories (2001), as well as recent contributions to Museum & Society (Stylianou-Lambert and Bounia 2012; Edwards and Mead 2013). This paper seeks to intervene in on-going debate about the use of photographs in museums by exploring the efficacy of employing the concept of ‘translation’ to shed light on the complex lives of photographs in these institutions. While Stylianou-Lambert and Bounia focus on photography in war museums, and Edwards and Mead turn their attention to the place of photographs in museum displays that engage with the colonial past, this paper focuses on the way in which photographs appear in museum displays that seek to narrate aspects of Europe’s oil history (another form of contested heritage). Focusing on the recently renovated oil and gas display in Aberdeen’s Maritime Museum, but drawing upon material from other European petroleum museums, this paper will attend to the multiple ways in which photography is employed in these institutions, analysing not only the displays but also marketing literature and other ephemera. The theoretical framework through which these photographic works – understood as both images and as objects – will be approached will draw upon the ‘sociology of translation’, developed by Bruno Latour and Michel Serres. Their focus on the relational nature of translation seems apposite when seeking to think through the particular example of the Petroleum Museum, an institution designed to mediate between technology and culture.

 

Jonathan Long (Durham)

“Translation in/of Photomontage”

In 1924, German designer and photomonteur John Heartfield produced a photomontage entitled 20 Years After: Fathers and Sons (Zwanzig Jahre danach: Väter und Söhne). The image uses a variety of motivic repetition known as translation or translational symmetry. This involves the serial repetition of a motif along a horizontal or vertical axis: moving a motif from one place to another. While easy to effect in simple abstract patterns, it is only practically possible with complex figurative subjects by means of photography. Translation, in this sense, is a quasi-universal operation, a form of visual organisation that can be found in cultural artefacts produced in most if not all societies. However, photomontage as form of political propaganda requires highly specific kinds of translation if it is to be effective. If it is so polysemous that it is incapable of translation into more or less determinate propositional content, it fails as propaganda. So this paper will map the universal translational capacities of photography onto the specific forms of translation demanded by the photomontage in order to develop an understanding of the operations and limitations of translation as both a photographic process and an explanatory schema.


Thursday 31 July 2014

The Business of War Photography: Producing and Consuming Images of Conflict

9:00am to 5:00pm, Durham University and Durham Light Infantry Museum and Art Gallery, UK

Durham University and Durham Light Infantry Museum and Art Gallery, UK 31 July to 1 August 2014

The intersection of photography and war encompasses a broad and complex field. Yet conceptually, “war photography” is often restricted to the activities of photojournalists producing aesthetically compelling images used to humanitarian ends. Scholars have primarily focused on issues of veracity, iconicity, memory, affect and ethics. Insightful though this work is, we lack crucial information and critical reflection on fundamental questions regarding how commercial, tactical and personal factors have shaped the diverse terrain of images arising from all contexts of armed conflict.

The aim of this conference is to examine war photography in this expanded sense—that is, as the result of a nexus of pragmatic and strategic transactions and interactions concerning business, militarism and consumption.

We seek papers that address the ways in which issues of supply and demand have shaped the field of war photography, and how this field has articulated with other forms of industrialised and commercial activity. We invite scholars in a range of disciplines to reflect upon the relevance to war photography of commerce, industry, the military and marketing, as well as the role of workers, publishers, politicians, strategists, purchasers and consumers. Together, we endeavour to develop alternative methodological frameworks for approaching images of armed conflict, and to shift and expand thinking on the concept of war photography.

A range of historical periods, geographical regions and modes of conflict is encouraged. Participants are invited to propose 20-minute papers on topics related to the theme The Business of War Photography, including but not limited to the following: •The photographic companies, entrepreneurs and workers serving markets created as a result of war •The requirements of military agencies and their involvement in photographic innovation through funding the development of military imaging technology •The role of the state in commissioning, shaping and circulating photographic images, and their relationship with foreign and domestic policy and military strategy •The marketing of photographic products and services to servicemen/women and civilians during wartime •The production and consumption of photographic merchandise (e.g. souvenirs, postcards) •The publication and dissemination of war images in the media, and the role of consumers, editors and advertisers in shaping content •The market for art photography deploying military imaging techniques or which critiques the role of photography in modern armed conflict

Submission details

We invite proposals of 300 words with a brief biographical note or 1-page CV by 1 March 2014. Applicants will be notified by Friday 14 March. Drafts of papers are due for circulation with co-panellists and chairs by Friday 27 June 2014.

It is envisaged that a selection of papers from the conference will be developed for publication as a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal. The conference organisers are currently discussing this possibility with the Editorial Board of the Journal of War & Culture Studies. Although this will not preclude selection to present at the conference, please state if your proposal has been previously published in any form.

Organisers and partners

The Business of War Photography is co-convened by Dr. Tom Allbeson and Pippa Oldfield, Head of Programme at Impressions Gallery and Doctoral Fellow at Durham University. The conference is presented in association with the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture at Durham University, in partnership with Durham Light Infantry Museum and Art Gallery and Impressions Gallery, Bradford.

www.dur.ac.uk/cvac www.durham.gov.uk/dli www.impressions-gallery.com

Location

The conference will be held at Durham University, with opening papers and an evening reception at Durham Light Infantry Museum and Art Gallery, with the opportunity to view the photographic exhibition The Home Front by Melanie Friend, an Impressions Gallery Touring Exhibition curated by Pippa Oldfield.

www.melaniefriend.com

Information for delegates and speakers

Details of delegate fees, venues, and accommodation will be announced by 28 February 2014. Please note that we are unfortunately unable to meet participants’ and speakers’ costs. A limited number of delegate places will be offered to postgraduate attendees at concessionary rates.

Contact

Please submit proposals and enquiries to bwp.2014@durham.ac.uk.

Contact bwp.2014@durham.ac.uk. for more information about this event.