Art ExhibitionsArt Invitations

UNFIXED: photography, postcolonial perspectives and contemporary art

Call for Proposals
Application deadline: 15 July 2010

23 October – 4 December 2010

Organized by UNFIXED Projects:
Center for Contemporary Art (CBK) Dordrecht, the Netherlands

Call for Proposals

We invite scholars, artists, writers and professionals to submit proposals for visual and/or textual presentations or papers on topics relating to UNFIXED.

UNFIXED is a multiplatform project that includes an exhibition, symposium, workshop, artist commission-residency, and a resulting publication. UNFIXED explores the elusive “truth” of photography and its relationship to ideas of ethnicity, culture and identity in contemporary art.

We will consider proposals for:
Publication contribution
Symposium presentation (20 minutes)

Focus point: Unfixing photography’s fixed representations of cultural heritage, ethnicity and identity

This could be addressed through a broad range of topics concerning photographic practice, history and/or archives. Proposals could deal with deconstruction, reconstruction, collage, appropriation, politics, regionalism and location, subjectivity and/or authorship within photography. They could also concern photography’s relationship to other media, vernacular photography, found photography, documentary photography and/or visual culture. Some key theoretical points that strongly relate to the project include cultural hybridity and transculture. Proposals could also consider current political discussions about culture (ie. assimilation and integration) as they relate to visual culture and photography.

We hope to receive proposals that look at the inventive aspects of photography. Next to ‘traditional’ essays we welcome proposals for visual essays, which can include vernacular or found photography, and/or photo-works made by applicants, etc. We encourage proposals for essays or presentations with innovative formats (performance-based presentations, multimedia projects etc.) Particularly for the publication, geography should not be a limitation for submissions.

A detailed Call for Proposals can be found at The deadline for proposals is 15 July 2010.

About the project:

In recent decades, artist and theorists around the world have critically reflected on photography’s role in colonial, migrant and diasporic histories. They have unfixed photography, questioning the process of production, who is looking, whose history is represented and what the photographic image is staging. In this line, UNFIXED proposes an encounter with photography’s own reflective history, looking back while looking forward, continuing to dissolve ideas of photographic truth and cultural identity as essential and unchanging through photographic practices that are innovative, self-reflexive and critical.

UNFIXED aims to contribute to the Netherlands’ relatively young discussion about postcolonialism’s relation to photography. The project will bring together an international group of contemporary artists and scholars with personal relations to migration, colonial history and cultural diaspora, researching and reflecting on photographic histories, as well as constructing new ones. UNFIXED avoids imposing narratives about the past and future onto the project’s artworks, presentations and essays. Instead, we embrace the narratives and strategies proposed in the works as points of departure. In the same fashion as many of the invited artists, UNFIXED hopes to blur the lines between art practice, scholarly research and cultural activism.

Participating artists: Charif Benhelima (BE), Otobong Nkanga (FR), Keith Piper (UK), Naro Snackey (NL), Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (USA) and Hank Willis Thomas (USA). Keynote speaker and essayist: Kobena Mercer (UK).

Organized by Sara Blokland and Asmara Pelupessy (Stichting UNFIXED Projects, a nonprofit organization)

Exhibition: 23 October – 4 December 2010
Symposium: 16 November 2010
Workshop: 15 November 2010
Publication: December 2010