The Deferred Image: Rethinking Photography’s Temporalities

Justin Carville, Historical & Theoretical Studies in Photography, Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire (Dublin, Ireland),

Sigrid Lien, History of Art and History & Theory of Photography, University of Bergen (Norway),

Over the last 25 years the sub-genre of ‘late photography’ has emerged as a counter point to the perceived actuality and immediacy of photography’s representation of events ‘in medias res’ (in the midst of things) (Campany, 2003). Characterised by its codification of belatedness, the camera’s delayed arrival at the scene of an event, has, in an era of real-time media experiences of global conflict and catastrophe, evidenced a shift from the temporal specificity of photographic experience of war to the spatial appearance of its aftermath. Although late photography as a genre has been identified as emerging as a form of conflict representation across photojournalism, documentary and contemporary art, recent scholarship, and photographic practice, have also drawn attention to other forms of  photographic deferral. Ariella Azoulay’s identification of the belatedness of the gaze (Azoulay, 2011), the historical photograph’s punctuation of the present moment in artist Frank Willis Thomas’s exploration of racial injustice, and the continual re-inscription and re-temporalization of the photographic archive identified by John Roberts as where lateness is made normative (Roberts, 2014), demonstrate new theorizations, and representational strategies in the exploration of photography’s temporalities.  

Such forms of deferral of the photographic image may involve the reclaiming of histories by  mobilising photography’s social and political affects (Michelle Smith, 2020). Thus, a closer consideration of  processes of photographic deferral may also allow for a retheorising and rethinking of the aesthetic and politics of late photography. This panel seeks papers that interrogate the aesthetics and strategies of deferral, belatedness and latency in photographic histories and practices relating to; racial justice, peace and reconciliation, trauma and memory, decolonialism and de-colonizing the photographic archive. The panel especially welcomes papers that emphasise culturally differentiated practices of photographic deferral in the cultural politics of social movements, and identity formations

Call for Papers deadline 1 November 2021. Please submit your paper proposal to the convenor.



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