Exposed Memories

Family pictures in private and collective memory
$65.00 / €53.00 / £47.00
Publication date: 
206 pages with b & w photos

Within the larger context of cultural memory, family pictures have become one of the most intriguing multi- and interdisciplinary fields of investigation in the past decade. This field brings together artists working in different media (e.g. documentary photography and film, photo-based painting and installations, digital art, collage, montage, comics, etc.) as well as academics, critics, theorists and writers working in a wide range of disciplines including literature, history, art history, sociology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, film and media studies, visual culture studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, and word and image studies. This volume intends to offer a broad, panoramic view of the topic combining West and East European as well as American perspectives.

Introduction by the editors

Photo as Autobiography

Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer, Incongruous Images: "Before, During, and After" The Holocaust
Nancy K. Miller, Beguiled by Loss: The Burden of Third-Generation Narrative
Jay Prosser, The Baghdadi Jew and His Chinese Mistress

Photo and Text

Heinz Ickstadt, History, Narration and the Frozen Moment of Photography in Richard Powers' Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance (1985) and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee (1982)
Zsófia Bán, Memory and/or construction: Family images in W. G. Sebald's novel, Austerlitz

Private and Public Archives

Rob Kroes, Virtual Communities of Intimacy: Photography and Immigration
Géza Boros, Buried images: Photography in the cult of memory of the 1956 revolution
András Bán, A Farewell to Private Photography
Suzana Milevska, EVENTfulness: Family Archives as Events/Folds/Veils

Family Album

Logan Sisley, Visualising Male Homosexuality in the Family Album
Ágnes Berecz, Please Recycle! On the Family Album of Ágnes Eperjesi


Éva Forgács, From Photo to Object: Personal documents as history-writing in the works of Christian Boltanski and Ilya Kabakov
Hedvig Turai, Home Museum: An installation by Katarina Šević and Gergely László

"Due to some ancient, amusing misunderstanding, family photographers push the button convinced that they are capturing a moment from the family’s life. Not so. Time eludes them. Still, the movingly minute scale of a restricted life becomes visible in these pictures. This book opens up grand and diverse vistas of reflection on the mass production of the minute."
"This book is an insightful interdisciplinary exploration of the estranging effects of family pictures at the cutting edge of the study of visual culture and politics of representation. The book expands both the conception of the family incorporating elective affinities and fictional filiations and the conception of photography incorporating ghosts, narratives and literary documents. The essays splinter the grand narrative of history and official memory, engaging in critical reflection on document and fiction, politics and intimacy, narrative and trauma. Filled with original insights, personal parables and theoretical finds, the volume draws on a broad range of texts, art works and photographs including Sebald, Boltanski, Kabakov, Eperjesi and Gjuzelova as well as historical images from the Hungarian revolution and anonymous pictures from immigrant archives. The book will be of interest to researchers in a large variety of fields from visual arts to literature, anthropology,... more