CfP – Picturing Fabrics: Textile and the Photographic Image
Photography Network sponsored session
CAA 2022 Annual Conference
Chicago, IL, February 16–19, 2022 (format to be determined)
Sandrine Colard, Assistant Professor of Art History/ACM Department/Rutgers University-Newark
Giulia Paoletti, Assistant Professor of Art, University of Virginia
One of the earliest and most famous instances of photography’s intimacy with textile is Secondo Pia’s 1898 image of the Shroud of Turin (Geimer, 2018). But even in less exceptional occasions than Christ’s own portrait, photography’s relation to fabric has been, and continues to be, substantial and transformative across time and space. The inclusion of pieces of fabric in women’s albums has been well-documented (Higonnet, 1992; Di Bello, 2007). The frequent doubling of tailors as photographers across the African continent has been long noted, as well as the commemoration of newly created outfits as a usual motive for a trip to the studio (Pinther, 2007; Rabine 2010). The vibrant juxtaposition of patterned textiles in the works of Seydou Keïta and the likes has been recognized as participating to an aesthetic of “surfacism” that enacts a visual decolonization (Oguibe, 1996; Pinney, 2003; Thompson 2009; Agbo 2019). Finally, a movement in recent contemporary art has seen practitioners literally embroider or weave their prints or infuse a “photographic aesthetic” into their fabrics like in the works of Joanna Choumali, Kyle Meyer, Monica de Miranda, Billie Zangewa among others (Dewan, 2012). This panel seeks to reflect upon some of the following questions: Is there a world history of photography to be written from the point of view of the medium’s relation to textile, as medium, surface, aesthetic, and haptic perception? What are the shared properties of both media, and how have they influenced each other? Also, is there a gendered, female specific engagement of textile within photography?
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– Curriculum Vitae;
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