It has been a slow exercise in uncovering a forgotten cultural and photographic history of an autonomous art photography in Adelaide during the 1970-2000 period. It is a selective not a comprehensive history of the medium of art photography, as we were unable to make contact with some photographers for various reasons; others said they were interested in participating but, despite frequent reminders, they never responded to emails with respect to the call out for submissions; whilst we only found out about some others after we had settled on the 20 submissions.
This uncovering of a photographic history in Adelaide is a bit like an archaeological dig–it’s an ongoing process of uncovering more and more of what had been buried by history. Hopefully, others may pick up the project and continue with the dig into Adelaide’s photographic history.
This is the back cover the Adelaide Art Photographers with its flap:
This is the best that we could do given our limited resources. Not withstanding its limitations, the book does give us an insight into what happened in art photography in Adelaide during this crucial period; one marked by the re-emergence of art photography in the 1970s, the disruptive emergence of digital technology in the first decade of the 21st century and the emergence of a post-conceptual contemporary art. The latter is marked by marked by non-traditional uses of traditional materials, non-traditional materials, and emergent genres such as installation, video, and performance.
The book addresses a historical amnesia–ie., which is when contemporary photographers forget the history of the culture of photography; or only selectively remember their cultural past; or systematically devalue past art photography. The book represents a struggle of memory against forgetting in the current context of a discontinuous flow of perpetual data and economic forces. One could say that continuous process of cultural memory loss is integral to the turbocharged economy of contemporary capitalism.