PICTURING HISTORIES: Rewriting the Family Album


Photography is Art, Issue 6. 2018.6 p 105-113

PICTURING HISTORIES—— Rewriting the Family Album

In the context of global post-war art, many artists use archival materials to create historical narratives. This trend is, on the one hand, a result of artists interest in personal and collective memories and, on the other, an extension of photography’s pivotal role in the construction of real and fictional histories.

For more than a decade, Chinese photographers have been repurposing old photos to reconstruct personal histories. The diversity of these works demonstrates the range of possible ways photography can be used in historical narratives. In the context of globalisation,  old photos from family albums have opened a window of opportunity for artists of Chinese descent to trace their roots and unleeash a desire to explore individual and collective identities.

战后全球化的艺术语境中,艺术家们热衷于运用老照片来记录历史。 一方面源于艺术家对个体经历和对个体所处群体之间的关系的兴趣,另一方面则源于档案照片在建构真实和虚构叙事中不可或缺的作用。 过去的十多年间,中国摄影艺术家以历史老照片为载体,采用传记的形式重述了一断断生动的个人史,其丰富的面貌,展现出照片在历史叙事中的可能。 家庭相册中的老照片为全球化环境下艺术家的文化寻根之旅打了一扇窗, 展现他们对于探索个体、群体身份认同与差异的欲望。

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