Conversations in and on the Activation of Archives | 7 June 2024 | 10am -17pm | Netherlands Fotomuseum (Rotterdam)

Join us for a series of conversations as part of a symposium presented by The Networked Audience @ MA Photography & Society // Royal Academy of Art, in collaboration with Nederlands Fotomusem and ReCNTR. These conversations will take place within the exhibition ‘I wish there was color, I wish there was sound’, which displays long term collaborative archive activations initiated by Andrea Stultiens.

Date & Time

Friday 7 June 2024 

Location: Netherlands Fotomuseum (Statendam 1, Wilhelminapier, Rotterdam)

10:00 – 17:00

Event Description

With the emergence of digitisation, the entanglement between photography as a contemporary mode of picture production and archives as entities in which photographs are kept has gained prominence in both artistic practices and academic discourses. Digital reproduction of photographs affords modes of distribution in which connections are easily both made and lost while networking audiences in formal and informal ways. Meanwhile practitioners, researchers and audiences are guided by a wide and sometimes wild range of ethical, ideological and economic concerns.

During this symposium, the consequences of these developments and concerns will be discussed through a series of conversations between individuals whose rich spectrum of experiences and expertise result from their diverse artistic and/or academic practices, including ReCNTR’s Acting Director Mark Westmoreland.

The symposium is free to attend but registration is required due to limited available space and seats. Please register Here.

About the Exhibition

Paul Julien (1901 – 2001) embarked on numerous journeys to Africa between 1932 and 1962, a period marked by European colonization and missionary activities. During his travels, he gathered scientific data from local communities, employing methods rooted in colonial practices. Julien published four photo books and hosted a popular radio program discussing his African experiences. Upon his passing, his photographic collection was entrusted to the Nederlands Fotomuseum.

Artist and researcher Andrea Stultiens has since critically examined Julien’s work, particularly its portrayal of Africa, within the exhibition ‘I wish there was colour, I wish there was sound’. Collaborating with African stakeholders, Stultiens presents alternative perspectives on Julien’s images, contextualizing them within contemporary discourse and employing diverse techniques like re-photography and collective making. The exhibition, divided into five sections focusing on different regions, invites visitors to engage with the photographs, acknowledging their aesthetic appeal alongside their complex historical and cultural implications.

Image Credit: Still from Exhibition ‘I wish there was color, I wish there was sound‘, Andrea Stultiens/Paul Julien

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