Remembering What Has Been
Auckland Festival Of Photography is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2014 and the city’s annual photo festival has developed a varied program of international and local artists, both established and ‘fringe’. Alison Stieven-Taylor whets your appetite
Photography and memory are intrinsically linked so, when the 11th annual Auckland Festival Of Photography was considering creating a themed part for its 2014 program, it seemed an obvious choice to select the concept of ‘memory’ as an inaugural topic. Encompassing works by local and international photographers, the themed exhibitions allowed audiences to contemplate the relationship between photography and memory – and how time, circumstance and recollection can impact our understanding of ‘what has been’; that unique juxtaposition between the present and the past as described by French philosopher Roland Barthes in his seminal work Camera Lucida.
Founder and festival director, Julia Durkin, says introducing a theme was a natural development for the Festival that began in 2004 on an open call platform.
“Over the decade we’ve been operating, we’ve looked at various models and formulated our program to include must-see exhibitions by established photographers as well as the fringe activities which are focused on emerging and aspiring photographers,” she explains.
“After successfully presenting ten festivals there comes a point at which you need to reinvigorate and develop your program to meet the needs of the audience and the artists involved. We’re excited about offering an alternative to what we’ve been doing and theming a section of the festival is part of this approach.”
Julia Durkin says the theme of memory emerged from a collaborative process that involved key stakeholders including exhibitors, artists and curators.
“We wanted to hear what our partners thought about the next step for the festival. Memory was a theme that everybody felt was a good starting point. Photography as a tool for memory is unquestionable. As