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

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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

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