September 27, 2011

UNFIXED: Photography and Postcolonial Perspectives in Contemporary Art

UNFIXED Projects

Photography’s attraction as a medium, its historical connection to the production and fixation of identity and the urgency of debates over migration, globalization, national identity, culture and heritage have inspired the publication UNFIXED: Photography, Postcolonial Perspectives and Contemporary Art.


Initiated and edited by Sara Blokland and Asmara Pelupessy, UNFIXED examines photography and postcolonial perspectives through the varied and critical positions of an international group of writers, artist and scholars working within contemporary art, photography and cultural analysis.


This book is the self-standing and concluding platform of the multiplatform project UNFIXED that included an artist-residency, exhibition, workshop and symposium, which took place in the Netherlands in 2010. The publication combines extensive documentation of these previous platforms with nine new critical essays on cultural identity and photographic representation.


The book expands the project through the voices and visions of these new contributions—featuring original visual and textual essays on photography addressing such topics as landscape, archives, memory, visual sovereignty, self-representation, cultural protocols, exoticism and vernacular practice. These essays take a unique stand towards photography and photo history through a diverse and unconventional range of approaches and styles, all of which incorporate subjective engagement with the issues at stake.


As an instrument of colonialism, photography has contributed to the construction and dissemination of the cultural or racial Other as essentially and fundamentally different—fixed within difference. Currently however, photography is understood to produce truths, as opposed to simply capturing them. Photographs are no longer only seen as representations, but as elements of complex visual discourses in postcolonial debate. The artworks and debates presented in UNFIXED reflect a movement towards conceptualism, multivocality and subjective agency, which has positioned photography beyond positivist notions of its ability to document reality or bear a single meaning. Through this engagement with present practice and theory, the book adds a critical layer to the history of photography.


UNFIXED combines the exhibition qualities of an art book with the reflective approach of a theoretical reader. The publication is intended to both present a group of interesting artists and writers in relation to these debates, as well as to evoke new discourse in the fields of photography, visual studies and art history. Together the multiple perspectives presented in UNFIXED create a relevant and vibrant tapestry of visions, ideas, assertions, debates, questions and voices putting photography into new perspective.


UNIFXED will be released January 2012.


Until the end of 2011 it can be ordered at the special presale price of 24.50 EUR.  


Language English


Graphic design Yvonne van Versendaal


ISBN 978-94-90322-29-8


Price 29.50 EUR


For more info see our website


UNFIXED is made possible with support from the Center for Contemporary Art Dordrecht, the City of Dordrecht, the Netherlands Fund for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture and the Mondriaan Foundation.


UNFIXED Projects is a nonprofit organization established in 2009 by Sara Blokland and Asmara Pelupessy. The organization is the initiator of the multi-platform project UNFIXED.




Image above:
Cover image © UNFIXED Projects. From top to bottom, tearsheets feature images from the Tropenmuseum (NL), series Portraits Against Amnesia © Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie 2003 and One of These Days © Yamini Nayar 2009. Design by Yvonne van Versendaal. 


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