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Exposed Memories

Family Pictures in Private and Collective Memory

edited Zsofia Ban and Hedvig Turai

Publication Year: 2015

Within the larger context of cultural memory, family pictures have become one of the most intriguing multi- and interdisciplinary fields of investigation in the past decade. This field brings together artists working in different media (e.g. documentary photography and film, photo-based painting and installations, digital art, collage, montage, comics, etc.) as well as academics, critics, theorists and writers working in a wide range of disciplines including literature, history, art history, sociology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, film and media studies, visual culture studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, and word and image studies. This volume intends to offer a broad, panoramic view of the topic combining West and East European as well as American perspectives.

Published by: Central European University Press


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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright Page

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p. 5-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xii

Within the recent general discussions of cultural and historical memory, in Europe the extension of the family known as the European Union has drawn special attention to the problems of belonging, homeland, exile, and homecoming, as well as language, trauma, and memory. When daily politics...

Photo as Autobiography

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pp. 1-51

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Incongruous Images: “Before, During, and After” the Holocaust

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pp. 3-28

In the summer of 1998, our parents/in-laws, Lotte and Carl Hirsch, visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) photo archive, where they had been invited to donate some of their family pictures from Czernowitz, the East European city where they were born, grew up, and survived the...

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Beguiled by Loss: The Burden of Third-Generation Narrative

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pp. 29-42

This family portrait was taken in a photographer’s studio on the Lower East Side of Manhattan shortly after the arrival of my grandparents from Russia in 1906. (Fig. 1) The photograph joins a family that had been separated by successive immigrations, a pattern common to many...

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The Baghdadi Jew and His Chinese Mistress

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pp. 43-51

The first photograph we have of my mother has the aura of a family relic. (Fig. 1) For me, this is primarily because it is the first photograph of my mother. On the lower level between her parents, sitting in the lap of her father, the child still so recognizably my mother has her hands clasped...

Photos and Text

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pp. 53-73

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History, Narration, and the Frozen Moment of Photography in Richard Powers’ Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictée

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pp. 55-66

That photography goes hand in hand with narration hardly needs to be explained. We take photographs in order to be able to remember an event, a person, a moment. And...

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Memory and/or Construction: Family Images in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz

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pp. 67-73

Over the last decade German writer W. G. Sebalds’s oeuvre has become a locus classicus for the interplay of photograph and text.When we take a closer look at the various visual media and genres he uses in his works—namely, photography, film, architecture...

Private and Public Archives

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pp. 75-135

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Virtual Communities of Intimacy: Photography and Immigration

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pp. 77-87

In this essay I propose to look at the ways in which immigrants in their new American setting connected to relatives, friends, and neighbors in their areas of origin. They expressed these continuing bonds through letters sent home, trying to preserve a sense of intimacy...

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Buried Images: Photography in the Cult of Memory of the 1956 Revolution

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pp. 89-111

The fiftieth anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian uprising and revolution directed the attention of scholars and the public to many of its aspects related to photography. Photo albums were published; photos that were well-known, as well as some that were previously...

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A Farewell to Private Photography

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pp. 113-124

I began researching private photography in 1982. Let me list a few features of the intellectual and spiritual climate in Hungary during the late Kádár era that shaped this research. The concepts of forced modernization—that is, the centrally dictated pace of modernization...

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EVENTfulness: Family Archives as Events/Folds/Veils

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pp. 125-135

This paper was imagined as an attempt to deconstruct the understanding of photography archives as supposed spaces for the guarding of authenticity and truth about certain events. I want to address the process of “unveiling of the truth” through the researching...

Family Album

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pp. 137-166

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Visualizing Male Homosexuality in the Family Album

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pp. 139-151

This paper explores the work of artists and writers who retrospectively seek out representations of their sexuality in the spaces of the family photograph album. Narratives embedded in the album have traditionally excluded the presence of homosexuality, so any reading practice concerned with the retrospective...

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Please Recycle! On Ágnes Eperjesi’s Family Album

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pp. 153-166

As its maker and protagonist states, “this is a totally real, fictional album”.1 (Fig. 1) It is an album that “tracks the most poignant events” of the artist’s life up to her eighteenth birthday and consists of pictograms of packaging materials taken from commercial...


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pp. 167-187

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From Photo to Object: Personal Documents as History-Writing in the Works of Christian Boltanski and Ilya Kabakov

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pp. 169-176

The use of real objects—and junk in particular—in art is the most visible sign of the reassessment of not only the aesthetic hierarchy (traditionally with “beauty” on the top) but also the way the Western narrative has been reconstructed since photography turned...

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Home Museum: An Installation by Katarina Šević and Gergely László

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pp. 177-187

“It was not until 13 years after the war in Yugoslavia that Serb citizens could first enter Croatia without a visa. Many Serb citizens took this opportunity already in the first year to go and see the properties or holiday homes they had left behind. When they got there...


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pp. 189-193

Back Cover

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p. 207-207

E-ISBN-13: 9786155211867
Print-ISBN-13: 9789639776708

Page Count: 194
Publication Year: 2015

Edition: 1st