LagosPhoto 2016. RITUALS AND PERFORMANCE;INHERENT RISK, Now Open for Submissions.
The act of posing as a repetitive act that constructs an image or images which morph into an idea or identity is an act of courage for both the subject and photographer. The concept of the ‘decisive moment’ is a gamble in the sense that other constructs are neglected in its determination.
LagosPhoto 2016 explores the role of acts of repetition that shape gender, image, identity, social agency, power and social constructs in contemporary society. The repetitive acts imbued with belief become coercive and normative. It shapes our general idea of what is true in determining an African image, gender, religion, beauty, social class and so forth. Michel Foucault’s (1980) conception on the transmissions and representations of power not just in its ability to contain and control but in its ability to enable individuals to function within cultural roles and allows for alternative self-definitions and self-presentations. Contemporary visual representations directly affect the cultural meanings associated with image construction and interpretation.
Action repeated constantly, becomes a ritual, its transference into other spaces of engagement becomes a performance. The preceding choice of each action contains an inherent risk. Charging the shutter, adjusting the lens, capturing the moment: all those movements can be considered as the rituals of photographers but beyond these obvious acts and interpretation, we wish to explore further.
Each image is the direct representation of the world, a human trace on a material surface. The photograph turns into a cognitive instrument of reality because a photograph is not just an image; it is also a record, a document, a message and a construction directly from reality. The photographer is not only witness of thisperformative process, but its author and the camera is the instrument that affirms the process.
The image and or the photographer assumes the role of demiurge who has created the world. The grandiose result of the photographic enterprise is to give us the sense that we can hold the whole world in our heads – as an anthology of images. There are inherent contradictions and risks in the interpretation of the image with an obvious tension between the performative for the photographer and the experience and memories for her subject and invites scope for the analysis of archival photography and other forms of vernacular photography. In preserving certain aspects of memory and discarding others what are we preserving for our generations and what have we left for our memory?
LagosPhoto invites submissions from photographers from all over the world with a voice as it relates to shaping an African identity and sensibility through repetition, rituals and performance in photography.