The Hasselblad Foundation supports and carries out various forms of research in the history, theory and aesthetics of photography. The foundation initiates and produces research projects and collaborates with a range of scholars and institutions. One aim is to present current international photography research to both academic and art students as well as to photographers, art lovers and a wider audience.
PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE THRESHOLD: EXPERIMENT AND SOCIAL CHANGE
In 1929 the local newspaper Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfartstidning arranged an International Photography Exhibition at Konsthallen in Gothenburg. Similar to many other photo exhibitions at this time it united fine art photography with commercial, scientific, and military imagery. The various genres – architecture, portraiture, forensics, formal experiments, astronomy, ethnography, x-ray, and aerial photography – point to a cultural historical context formed by issues such as national identity and nationalism, archives and biopolitics, historiography, industrial expansion, international influences, and social change.
The exhibition serves as a starting point for the photo historical project PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE THRESHOLD: EXPERIMENT AND SOCIAL CHANGE – a Hasselblad Foundation initiative in collaboration with Valand Academy. The project is an investigation of interwar photography and the period’s visual culture in Sweden and beyond.
PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE THRESHOLD: EXPERIMENT AND SOCIAL CHANGE seeks to probe various ways of researching, writing and doing photo history. Furthermore, the project will address reflections and parallels between the Interwar period and the present. The research will be published in various formats including books and exhibitions.
The initial research process includes the workshop conference INTERWAR PHOTOGRAPHY: EXPERIMENT AND SOCIAL CHANGE taking place on November 21, 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Among the confirmed speakers are Sabine T. Kriebel; Maja Hagerman; Mats Jansson; Mhairi Sutherland; Katarina Leppänen, Anna Dahlgren, Eva Dahlman and Susanne Kriemann. Topics will include: montage, fascism, eugenics and photography, gender rights and representation, aerial photography, commercialism and modernism.
More information about the project and detailed program and venue for the symposium will be available shortly.
The Hasselblad Foundation’s own research is often based on the photographic collection and archive as well as on the yearly recipients of the Hasselblad Award. The research and the exhibition programme are closely tied together.
Furthermore the foundation carries out research projects in current art photographic practices as well as theoretical questions concerning the role of photography in contemporary visual culture. The outcome is presented internationally at conferences and locally in talks and seminars; in publications and through exhibitions. The recent research project WATCHED! focuses on surveillance art and photography in post 9/11 Europe, which in 2016 resulted in a book and a touring exhibition.