Editorial: Special Issue on Photography, Archive and Memory

Cross, Karen and Peck, Julia ORCID: 0000-0001-5134-2471 (2010) Editorial: Special Issue on Photography, Archive and Memory. Photographies, 3 (2). pp. 127-138. doi:10.1080/17540763.2010.499631

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This editorial contextualises the various articles that analyse some of the ways that memory has become a tool for critically theorising photography and the archive. We recognise that there is nothing new in claiming the significance of memory, but the nexus of photography, archive and memory is yet to be fully explored. In contextualising the different contributions it has become clear that memory as a concept can become useful in further understanding photography and the archive. In particular, the contributors to this special issue locate memory in the photograph and the archive but recognise their partial and fragmented forms. Indeed, photography and its archives are structured around remembering and forgetting. Memory is also partial, imaginative and problematic. Memory, remembrance and testimony are therefore active in the archive, becoming the tools of intervention and analysis. But like any other concept used in the theory and practice of photography, memory here is subject to scrutiny and is not used in a simple or an unproblematised nostalgic form. In bringing together these complex existing debates it is clear that there is considerable existing theoretical groundwork upon which to draw. Our hope is that many of the issues raised here will provoke further debate and critical reflection on the uses of the concept of memory both in terms of how it might extend but also limit the theoretical horizons of work on photography and its related archives. The aim here is not to claim that memory offers a simple and unproblematic means by which to frame photography or is a basis upon which to interpret and reformulate photography’s archives, although there may be clear instances in which this is the case. Memory is already inscribed in the photograph (if only in a partial and fragmented form), and remembering (and forgetting) structures the archive. Memory, however, has to be an active remembering, where intervention and analysis takes place. Within that, the partial, imaginative and problematic aspects of memory and testimony need to be acknowledged as well as its uses.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Editorial
Uncontrolled Keywords: Photography, archive, memory
Subjects: T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Julia Peck
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2016 08:43
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:24
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3303

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