Adelaide, archives, black + white, critical writing, photography, publishing

Adelaide Art Photographers 1970-2000

October 23, 2019

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:

back cover

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.

Pages: 1 2

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5 Comments

  • Reply Lars October 25, 2019 at 9:57 am

    anti aesthetic ?!
    great that pull all those questions into the open Gary – up to a dialogue
    what is art ?
    photography ?
    aesthetic ?
    anti ? as in not bad !
    let’s have a chat about it
    Thank you Gary
    what a inside- and meaning full contribution you are giving, to society and us humans

  • Reply Erosion - Poodle Walks December 15, 2019 at 10:53 am

    […] photo below was made on my last poodlewalk with Kayla. It was just after the Adelaide Art Photographers 1970-2000 book had been published and before I had plastic surgery on my leg to remove a basal cell carcinoma. […]

  • Reply Absent history – Our Waters Our Country December 23, 2019 at 11:28 am

    […] on this project has been on hold  whilst I helped to complete the Adelaide Art Photographers 1970-2000  book and finalise the collaborative Mallee Routes exhibition at the Murray Bridge Regional […]

  • Reply Mt Arapiles: photos - Thought Factory January 16, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    […] Lightroom. I have yet to develop and scan the black and white photos that I made on the trip. The Adelaide Art Photographers 1970-2000 book and the Mallee Routes exhibition have taken up all my […]

  • Reply Adelaide Art Photographers 1970-2000 - Thought Factory April 13, 2020 at 11:01 am

    […] I was absent from the book launch and exhibition opening of Adelaide Art Photographers c1970-2000 at the Royal South Australian Society of Arts in Adelaide took place just after Australia put in place the Covid-19 restrictions for social distancing and social gatherings. I was absent from the book launch and exhibition opening as I was in New Zealand at the time trying to return to Australia before New Zealand closed its borders. Then I was in the 14 day mandatory quarantine. So I haven’t seen the exhibition. The background to the project is here. […]

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