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Photography and the Museum: Re-evaluating the Past, Capturing the Present, Anticipating the Future

Join us in Sunderland, UK or online for this 3 day international conference 22-24 November 2024, which aims to bring together curators, archivists, artists, and scholars and researchers across disciplines, such as art history, visual culture, photography, museum, curating and archival studies, to explore international shifts in museum practices and their implications for global photographic cultures.

REGISTRATION OPENING SOON.

Photography entered the museum shortly after its invention in the 19th century, serving as a reproduction tool, a scientific process, a printmaking method, and an expressive medium. However, precisely because of these multiple functions, photography’s accommodation posed challenges then, as it does now with the mutable nature of contemporary “post-photographic,” born-digital images. 

This conference seeks to examine the past, current and future positioning of photography and its rich histories within museums. It aims to bring together curators, museum workers, archivists, artists, scholars and researchers across disciplines, such as art history, visual culture, photography, museum, curating and archival studies, to explore international shifts in museum practices and their implications for global photographic cultures. 

Key questions and issues include, but are not limited to: 

In an era of “massification” of images, how can museums collect analogue and born-digital photography strategically to create relevant and sustainable photographic collections for the future?

In what ways institutional practices—in terms of collecting, accessioning, documentation, preservation, and accessibility—need to be adapted or what new methods are required to accommodate different types of photographic images, including “networked images” and “computational photography,” in museum collections?

How can photography’s vernacular cultures be collected and displayed in the physical and virtual museum?

How can normative exhibition practices be adapted to engage diverse transnational publics, online and on site?

How can photography be used as an accessible vehicle within the museum to consider broader social and political issues and processes?

How can museum practices facilitate a two-way interaction with audiences, enabling them to acquire agency in influencing what the museum does as a social site?

In what ways can photography within the museum context contribute to the decolonisation process for its audiences?

What does an inclusive transnational history of photography look like?

How may commissioning expand an institution’s discursive space? 

Call for Conference Papers