Symposium: Memories Can’t Wait
ICP – International Center of Photography, New York (US)
On December 14th & 15th, the International Center of Photography in New York City hosted “Memories Can’t Wait”, a two-day symposium co-organized by Nicola Ricciardi, Malene Dam and the ICP-Bard MFA program.
The symposium investigated the different artistic strategies used to rethink the ways to produce, document and archive. Memory is intricately linked to forms of documentation, from news journalism to handwritten letters. Yet the 1980’s postmodern critique of representation has shattered the myth of documentary veracity and a singular authoritative history. This merciless assessment of documentary has created fertile ground for new and meaningful ways to engage with the idiom.
Arts’ critical responses to remembering and recording play an important role in engaging with the turbulent contemporary social landscape. Contemporary artists, writers, curators and archivists reinvent documentary to reclaim, re-enact and resurrect forgotten, ambiguous, traumatic or marginalized memories. With digital technology, not only is there an increase in image proliferation, but the lines between documenter and documented are evaporating.
“Memories Can’t Wait” asked: How can image-making sustain critical consciousness? How can personal memory and imagination in the absence of verifiable narratives create new meaning? Is there urgency in weaving personal accounts into political and historic narratives, if so, how does it manifest? How can artists build an archive that honors the time-sensitive and ephemeral nature of their work? How can these methods inform the ways that history is recorded?
Link to event page.