One Hour - Visual Practice Exploring a Collective History

Chubb, S. (2017) One Hour - Visual Practice Exploring a Collective History. In: Wonder in Contemporary Artistic Practice. Routledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies . Routledge, London, pp. 36-54. ISBN 9781138855816

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This chapter considers how the exhibition One Hour uses multiple imagery to position viewers within a familiar visual historiography. Comprised of 3,600 images extracted from the digital photographic archive held by the Hampshire Cultural Trust, One Hour presents scopic fragments of a collective whole with each image denoting a second in time, accumulating as one hour of experience constructed through the multiple identities that formed a local community between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It considers how accumulation, and the responsive capacity of wonder to render meaning from this process, can build relationships between the subject and the viewer. The curatorial practice of contextualizing material culture by the use of archival photography is addressed with the photographed individual reinstated as the producer and consumer of associated material culture, referencing Keene’s observation of the archive as a ‘medium’.1

The text considers the resonance of the individual through a new paradigm of viewing where the criteria for inclusion is that each original individual is looking at the camera, and now at us. The consequent phenomena of advanced technology as a digital interface which disseminates this gaze is seen to manifest a secondary instance of the camera ‘as a kind of mechanical eye’.2 The nuance of images dissected from documentary evidence of social, military, business and familial groups undertaking daily activities, celebrations, rituals, traditions and skills creates layers of interpretive meaning that encourage the viewer to both meander and fixate upon imagery.

Reinstated from within the archive, each individual questions our understanding of visibility as we become the observed, repositioned and engaged within a familiar and collective visual historiography.

1. Keene, Suzanne (2005) Fragments of the World: Uses of Museum Collections. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-
Heinemann, p.116
2. Henning, M. (2009) Technological Bodies in Photography A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, p.192

Publication Type: Book Sections
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N4390 Exhibitions
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N61 Theory. Philosophy. Aesthetics of the arts
T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions: Academic Areas > Department of Creative Industries > Fine Art
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Shirley Chubb
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2017 14:49
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 08:22

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