Imaging the Past / Collecting the future: Archive, Photography, Cinema, Museum

Imaging the past / Collecting the future: Archive, Photography, Cinema, Museum

First International 

IMT Lucca – LYNX Center for the Interdisciplinary  Analysis of Images


Lucca, Italy, June 22 – 25, 2016

Fueled by the focus of the LYNX research center, specifically the interdisciplinary analysis of images, this conference proposes to investigate photographic and cinematographic images (as both lens-based products and the fruit of new media technologies) in terms of their form, the systems that produce them, the modes and techniques of perception associated with them and the processes and trajectories through which they circulate by exploring the multiple, diverse relations between these images and the primary spaces dedicated to their preservation and conservation, namely archives and museums.
While this conference is grounded in certain precise conceptual perspectives on the archive (Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida), it is not intended to explore the discursive form of photographic and cinematographic archives and museums; rather, it proposes to analyze the various practices through which they are constructed and contested as well as the diverse functions and uses of archives and museums as physical and institutional sites (participation and access), both in terms of the content (material or non) they contain and the way this content is interpreted, (re)configured, (re)activated, (re)animated and (re)appropriated.
This conference proposes to employ diverse perspectives and methodological approaches to reflect on the relationships between archives, museums and memory (with particular emphasis on the role of the image as evidence, proof, documentation and memorandum). It also seeks to go beyond this nexus, however, by inviting participants to reflect on the relationship between images and power as a complex horizon that shapes analytical perspectives on operations of positioning and arranging images (photographic and cinematographic, in this case) within the institutions dedicated to preserving them. Indeed, any act of selecting, conserving and reproducing images might be seen as a specific articulation of the relationship between images and power.

Possible topics include:

  • The notion of archive and/or museum investigated through the history of specific photographic or cinematographic collections. The organizers welcome proposals analyzing collections of art or of the work of individuals artists as well as those investigating scientific, medical, criminological, legal, ethnographic collections; we also welcome studies of either private, amateur collections (photo albums or family films) or professional ones, including research focused on the possible relationships between these various types.
  • Fictional or non-fictional photographic/cinematographic/video representations that narrate the museum and/or museum practices, and the archive and/or practices of archiving.
  • Fictional or non-fictional photographic/cinematographic/video representations that explicitly engage the issue of constructing individual or collective memory with the implied construction of a space of memory (archive or museum, understood broadly).
  • The effects and consequences of web-based and digital technologies on archival and museum practices, in particular techniques of constructing/reconstructing memory.
  • The history and meaning of conserving or, even more so, destroying or rendering unusable, photographic and cinematographic archives and museums.
  • The history of photographic and cinematographic practices aimed at resisting archiving and musealization as well as practices of silence, absence and exclusion from the spaces of the archive and museum.

The schedule for the morning includes presentations by the Keynote speakers in the form of lessons/workshops, while the afternoon period is set aside for paper presentations. Although the conference welcomes papers from scholars at any stage of their career, it is especially aimed at MA and PhD students and early career researchers.

Panel: Static and Moving Pictures: Archives of Time

Chair: Hanin Issa Hannouch (IMT – Lucca)

Martina Massarente (University of Genoa)

Space Archaeology. Cemeteries, gardens, archives and libraries as museological rooms of remembrance in film and contemporary photography  poster

” We know that behind the picture revealed There is another one that is closer to reality and which in turn hides another And so on until the true picture of reality, absolute, mysterious, that no one will ever see … ” M. Antonioni

The purpose of this contribution is to investigate the spatial conception of places as bearers of memory in film and contemporary photography. Starting from the most extensive bibliography on the relationships between architecture, landscape, cinema and photography by Michael Jakob and Giuliana Bruno, it aims at suggesting a path that highlights hybridization and transmediality of the concept of memory, through the selection of photographers and film contexts where gardens, cemeteries, libraries and archives have assumed a particular value of “memory atlases” or of images to stay physically and mentally in relation with space. The renewed convergence of hybrid forms that see the film bind with archival, artistic and museological practices, has given rise to a new experiential form of memory and its relationship with the viewer. The archaeological space of cinema, in contemporary photography, is reconstructed through experiences that photographers, like Hiroshi Sugimoto, make of film geography by highlighting its temporal characteristics of “steps”, moments of life that come and go. Photography transforms spaces, interprets them, transforms reality into contemporary myths.