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ICOM-CC Photographic Materials Working Group Interim Meeting

Event Details

ICOM-CC  Photographic Materials Working Group Interim Meeting

Time: September 21, 2016 to September 24, 2016
Location: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Website or Map:…
Event Type: symposium
Organized By: ICOM-CC Photographic Materials Working Group & the Rijksmuseum
Latest Activity: Aug 8, 2016

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Event Description

Meeting theme: Uniques & Multiples

The joint contemplation of the unique and the multiple touches upon the very essence of photography, from its beginnings in the 19th century until the present. While seemingly contradictory, the two concepts are actually inextricably linked and can be explored on many levels. Nicéphore Niépce, for example, was concerned with the reproduction of works of art in order to multiply and disseminate images of them, and yet in fact very few photographic artefacts form his legacy. Daguerre’s process produced a unique photographic object, but many thousands of daguerreotypes can be found in collections today. Early pioneers duplicated daguerreotypes by etching and printing from them or by creating galvanic copies; these techniques then became obsolete within years of their invention.

In our digital era of mass photography, unique analogue processes such as ambrotypes and tintypes are flourishing. Most recently, a 20th century photographic unique, the instant print, teetered on the brink of obsolescence as a result of the takeover of digital photography, but it has been revived and is currently thriving. Many questions remain unanswered on the materials and techniques, but also on the conservation and exhibition of unique photographs, such as daguerreotypes, photogenic drawings, colour screen plates, and contemporary prints with applied media. Similarly, ethical and practical questions regarding reprinting and replacement may arise with serial objects, such as numbered editions of colour photographs and inkjet prints.

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