personal views

an intermedial project about the constructions of identity in private photography

 personal views is an intermedial project about private photography and private spaces. Due to the technical development and quantitative distribution of 35 mm cameras, colour films and especially slide colour films, private photographs have been present in everyday life since the second half of the 20th century. The private photographs of individuals are identity-shaping pictoral documents that provide a direct insight into socio-social realities and at the same time show the staging of these realities. From the 1950s to the 1990s, slide photography was a typical photographic practice. As projections of light images, as cinema at home and slide images they were connected in a special way to the spaces of the private. The project personal views project opens the view of these private worlds and initiates a discourse on photographic modes of action and iconographic image patterns of everyday life.

The artist Susanne Wehr collected hundreds of slides from anonymous photographic estates and categorized them according to frequently occurring image subjects from the domestic and private sphere. In literary and media-philosophical essays, the authors Rainer Totzke and Birgit Szepanski unfold possibilities of observation for 25 exemplary pictorial motifs – for example family group pictures, portraits, still lifes and views of living spaces.

The website personal views provides a link to digital private photographs presented on the internet. Thus, the various image archiving systems, photographic modes of action and image subjects of digital and analogue private photographs of the 20th and 21st centuries come into focus as signs of the times to be compared.

Under the heading “Friends” on the personal views website, invited artists and authors complement in diverse media commentaries the subject of private photography. In this way, the idea of networking and the equivalence of juxtaposed contributions and works, which essentially underlies the internet is realized.

Dr. Birgit Szepanski

The project was developed for the European Month of Photography 2010/11 and shown in the participating cities of the EMOP.