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Writing the Image: Reading Allan Sekula

Writing the Image: Reading Allan Sekula
Writing the Image: Reading Allan Sekula
This piece is a film with voice-over; a time-critical remediation of a live lecture-performance, specifically made to be screened within an artist's space at the Silence! conference at McGill University, Montreal in April 2014. The text below relates to the original lecture-performance.

The text element of Allan Sekula’s photo-text piece Meditations on a Triptych (1973-78) is an exploration of three family photographs; an exploration that involves repeatedly travelling far outside the immediate territories of the image, and then returning. It is a lengthy piece of observation, recollection, speculation and contemplation, about such things as marriage, patriarchy, family, place, tradition, religion, class, colour theory — and photography itself.

Sekula makes clear his rationale: he writes of the first image, ‘Years later, the photo reappears in an almost archeological light. What meanings were once constructed here? What ideas and desires directed this project? Who spoke, who listened, who spoke with a voice not their own? I want to give what was once familiar an exemplary strangeness.’

In this lecture-performance, the images are presented as ‘writerly’ texts, where ‘the reader is no longer a consumer, but a producer of the text.’ — Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970). And here, Sekula’s text is but a timekeeper; a placeholder for the act of looking; an occasional calling back.

It is a text that I have both read and written (re-typed). Now, I read, you write.
Allan Sekula, meditations, description, archives, triptych
Birkin, Jane
30ada6e1-9603-4a9c-9159-8297758817fe
Birkin, Jane
30ada6e1-9603-4a9c-9159-8297758817fe

Birkin, Jane (2015) Writing the Image: Reading Allan Sekula.

Record type: Art Design Item

Abstract

This piece is a film with voice-over; a time-critical remediation of a live lecture-performance, specifically made to be screened within an artist's space at the Silence! conference at McGill University, Montreal in April 2014. The text below relates to the original lecture-performance.

The text element of Allan Sekula’s photo-text piece Meditations on a Triptych (1973-78) is an exploration of three family photographs; an exploration that involves repeatedly travelling far outside the immediate territories of the image, and then returning. It is a lengthy piece of observation, recollection, speculation and contemplation, about such things as marriage, patriarchy, family, place, tradition, religion, class, colour theory — and photography itself.

Sekula makes clear his rationale: he writes of the first image, ‘Years later, the photo reappears in an almost archeological light. What meanings were once constructed here? What ideas and desires directed this project? Who spoke, who listened, who spoke with a voice not their own? I want to give what was once familiar an exemplary strangeness.’

In this lecture-performance, the images are presented as ‘writerly’ texts, where ‘the reader is no longer a consumer, but a producer of the text.’ — Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970). And here, Sekula’s text is but a timekeeper; a placeholder for the act of looking; an occasional calling back.

It is a text that I have both read and written (re-typed). Now, I read, you write.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: April 2015
Additional Information: This piece is a film with voice-over; a time-critical remediation of a live lecture-performance, specifically made to be screened within an artist's space at the Silence! conference at McGill University, Montreal in April 2014.
Keywords: Allan Sekula, meditations, description, archives, triptych
Organisations: Winchester School of Art

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 408657
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/408657
PURE UUID: b43c94ee-5be7-4d23-abc0-12004311d101
ORCID for Jane Birkin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6025-9300

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 May 2017 04:03
Last modified: 12 Nov 2019 01:56

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