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Journal of Visual Culture ~ Visions of Contemporary Cuts

  • Deadline:
    Jan. 5, 2014, midnight


Journal of Visual Culture, in collaboration with the International Association for Visual Culture, Operational and Curatorial Research, the Museum of Contemporary Cuts and Kasa Gallery, is pleased to announce a new refereed issue titled Visions of Contemporary Cuts.

The issue is guest edited by Lanfranco Aceti, Sabanci University, Istanbul; and Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Visions of Contemporary Cuts is a special call for a refereed issue open to international scholars, curators, artists and thinkers who are provocatively discussing and analyzing the contemporary economic crisis as well as the meaning of the word ‘cuts’ and how these affect contemporary society.

Visions of Contemporary Cuts – Theme

What are the contemporary narratives of the Great Recession (2008-Present) that are defining the politics of economic cuts to the arts, education and social services?

Historically, the narratives and stories of the Great Depression were mainly narrated through institutional forms of representation and visual imagery that presented a portrait of the dispossessed – Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Lewis Hine, to note a few of the most well known photographers. Their work of documentation was paid for by the American government, perhaps raising concerns related to an institutionalized form of narrative instrumental to the political realities of the time.

The most poignant portrait of the time, Migrant Mother by Lange, is surrounded by a certain controversy: “Florence Owen Thompson revealed her identity in a letter to a local newspaper, the Modesto Bee, stating her dismay about the iconic photograph. She felt exploited by it, never received a penny, and seemed hurt that the photographer never asked her name.” [Michael Stone, ‘The Other Migrant Mother,’ The Open Photography Forum, http://www.openphotographyforums.com/index.php (accessed February 2, 2013).]

What then are the images of today that represent the contemporary economic crisis and symbolize the financial cuts that are being enforced across the arts, education and public health systems? What are the realities of these cuts in the context of societies in crisis such as the United States and Western Europe? Are the politics of rigor and cuts – with their institutionalized discourse – hiding other realities? And finally, what is the impact of the images and contextualized discourses that we as academics, practitioners, curators, and cultural commentators are constructing?

This themed issue of Journal of Visual Culture seeks papers that address, although are not limited to, the following themes:

1 Cuts and their visual mythology in contemporary discourses
2 Cuts, protest and resistance
3 Narratives of cuts
4 Lives cut: suicides in the economic crisis
5 The visual politics of cutting
6 Cuts and social justice
7 Dreams cut: the failing of upward social mobility
8 Creative finance and art cuts
9 Comparative analyses between historical images of poverty and contemporary poverty
10 The role of media technology in distributing imageries and in creating narrative of cuts
11 How to curate the visuality of cuts and its social impact
12 Artistic practices in a time of crisis
13 Other related topics