CFP: Family Pictures in Private and Public Memory

Goethe Institut, Budapest, 10-11 November, 2006

Exposed Memory: Family Pictures in Private and Public Memory

Within the larger context of cultural memory, family pictures have become one of the most intriguing multi- and interdisciplinary fields of investigation in the past decade. This field brings together artists working in different media (e.g. documentary photography and film, photo based painting and installations, digital art, collage, montage, comics, etc.) as well as academics, critics, theorists and writers working in a wide range of disciplines including literature, history, art history, sociology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, film and media studies, visual culture studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, word and image studies, to name only the most obvious ones.

We are organizing a 2-day, multidisciplinary, international conference and accompanying exhibition(s) that focuses on the topic of family pictures primarily from a word-and-image perspective: how the production of family images are paralleled and, in fact, often brought about by the construction of narratives, myths and ideologies that they are meant to support or illustrate. Suggested lines of inquiry include issues of visibility and invisibility, framing, manipulation, ellipsis, reading as well as the investigation of points of resistance. Other relevant topics may include:
– points of encounter between private and collective memory (family
history and communal or national history; representations of the
Holocaust, revolutions – e.g. the Hungarian revolution in 1956, – world wars,
colonial enterprises, slavery, etc.)
– biography, autobiography
– memoirs
– official and non-official/alternative historical narratives
– the problematics of the ‘unreflected’ or ‘spontaneous’ amateur
picture vs. the professional or artistic picture
– the document or documentation (private and official archives)
– encounters of the ‘banal’ and the ‘sublime’
– crossovers between the stereotypical, impersonal, and the personal –
the ‘album’ as narrative genre
– the interference of technology in the tradition of representation
(e.g. instant camera, digital camera)

The accompanying exhibitions will complement the conference by showing works by artists who use family pictures either as material or as concept.

The event will take place during the month-long Hungarian Photo Festival, and ties in with the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. It is supported and organized by IAWIS (International Association of Word and Image Studies) and AICA (Association Internationale de Critiques d’Art).

Presentations will be 20 minutes long.
Proposals of approx. 300 words should be sent by e-mail to:
Zsofia Bán
Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest
Department of American Studies
Deadline for proposals: 15 April, 2006.