Photographic Aesthetics of Home

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 April 2023) | Viewed by 9020

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Centre for the Arts in Society, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
Interests: aesthetics; phenomenology; photography; spatial studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Home is a vexed concept in academic literature. While it can be seen as a material structure, a refuge from the outside world, or a place to own, it can also be perceived as a “socio-spatial” system, “psycho-spatial” feature, or a “warehouse of emotions”. For some, home is merely a “domestic dwelling” in which people live; for others, it is a place of alienation or a failed promise of protection. Home can be seen as a constant “performance of home”, or simply as a “feeling” internalized within us. Regardless of its kaleidoscopic manifestations across different disciplines, home inherently is a space: one of intimacy, privacy, domesticity, efficiency, affect, nostalgia, and identity. Home is a spatial idea, whether such a space is externalized as a dwelling or internalized as a feeling.

Such an understanding of home is not only theorized by the thinkers of spatial studies, but it has also been embraced by the scholars of photography theories. On the one hand, photographic representation can dwell on the materialized home captured within the frame; and on the other, it can reflect on the ongoing process of inhabitation, which is not necessarily limited to the representational space of the photograph. While for the photographer home is the space at which the camera aims, for the photographed subject it may be an ineffable and inexplicable feeling of being in space. Centering space at its methodological and theoretical kernel, photographic aesthetics enables us to envisage, embody, and in turn apperceive home as a space of domiciliation, displacement, vagabondage, or homelessness. By pivoting around the concept of home, this Special Issue inquires: how does photographic aesthetics represent the lived, perceived, and conceived experience of home? Therefore, it warmly invites interdisciplinary contributions that deal with the idea of home through contemporary photographic practices and discourses.

Please note that article processing fees will be waived for all manuscripts in this Special Issue. Papers may be submitted from now until 28 March 2023 as papers will be published on an ongoing basis if accepted for publication following peer review. We also encourage authors to send a short abstract to the Editorial Office in advance before 28 December 2022.

Dr. Ali Shobeiri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office before 28 December 2022 for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • home as a conceived, perceived, or lived space
  • photography of home-making
  • photography of domiciliation and displacement
  • photography of vagabondage and homelessness
  • photography of 'being at home'

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 3375 KiB  
Article
Home: Photographs by Lim Sokchanlina and Yoppy Pieter
by Akshatha Rangarajan
Arts 2023, 12(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030117 - 02 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2004
Abstract
Photography by Cambodian artist Lim Sokchanlina (b.1987) in his National Road Number 5 series and Indonesian artist Yoppy Pieter’s (b.1984) Saujana Sumpu series interpret the notion of placemaking. Sokchanlina and Pieter portray a fraught relationship between place and identity, integrating a sense of [...] Read more.
Photography by Cambodian artist Lim Sokchanlina (b.1987) in his National Road Number 5 series and Indonesian artist Yoppy Pieter’s (b.1984) Saujana Sumpu series interpret the notion of placemaking. Sokchanlina and Pieter portray a fraught relationship between place and identity, integrating a sense of belonging integral to a residence and connecting the medium of photography with the appeal of a home. This article explores the conceptual and aesthetic strategies used by the artists to convey the personal and communal history of place in Cambodia and Indonesia. The artists explore a three-fold intent of place, as having a geographical presence, as an environment to conduct social relations, and as an entity encouraging inherent attachment, constantly shifting between the various connotations, creating intermediary nuances between the meanings. Their methodology of using placemaking to deconstruct the traditional model of a home using contemporary art with a community’s heritage creates a unique Southeast Asian identity. The interaction between people and spaces, the configuration of values and identities, and the manifestation of personal and collective memory consolidate the idea of placemaking with the aesthetics of home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photographic Aesthetics of Home)
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10 pages, 1532 KiB  
Article
Picture-Perfect Fish Stories: Homemaking through American Tall Tale Photographic Postcards
by Esther Scholtes
Arts 2023, 12(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030088 - 29 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Photographic postcards featuring farmer culture on the American Great Plains hold a tangled relationship to the concept of home. As both personal and tactile keepsakes to be taken home after travel and souvenirs directed to loved ones, the postcard bridges spaces of home, [...] Read more.
Photographic postcards featuring farmer culture on the American Great Plains hold a tangled relationship to the concept of home. As both personal and tactile keepsakes to be taken home after travel and souvenirs directed to loved ones, the postcard bridges spaces of home, travel, and migration. Furthermore, postcards are significant vehicles in storytelling and community building. In the early twentieth century, a peculiar type of photographic postcard became popular in the Midwest and Great Plains regions depicting farmers with outrageously oversized crops and livestock. This article explores photographic postcards by William H. Martin (1865–1940) that equivocally glorify white farmer culture and their presumed economic productivity. It posits that through an elaborate act of photomontage, these photographic cards demonstrate the boundaries of home and convey ‘homeland’ as an ambiguous landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photographic Aesthetics of Home)
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18 pages, 8687 KiB  
Article
Missing the Present: Nostalgia and the Archival Impulse in Gentrification Photography
by Zeena Price
Arts 2023, 12(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030085 - 26 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
If gentrification is a violent form of “un-homing” (Elliot-Cooper et al., p. 494), then it is no surprise to witness an intensification of photographic practice in gentrifying areas; photography is, after all, fundamentally a place-making practice. Taking “home” to include the wider neighborhood [...] Read more.
If gentrification is a violent form of “un-homing” (Elliot-Cooper et al., p. 494), then it is no surprise to witness an intensification of photographic practice in gentrifying areas; photography is, after all, fundamentally a place-making practice. Taking “home” to include the wider neighborhood and urban environment (Blunt and Sheringham 2019), this paper argues that the concept of anticipatory nostalgia is a useful way of understanding the recent wave of black and white photography in gentrifying areas. As well as signifying a sense of loss, anticipatory nostalgia, defined as missing the present before it has gone (Batcho and Shikh 2016), can also be seen as an aesthetic strategy of documenting places before they are lost to gentrification. Using the works of Colby Deal (Beautiful, Still), Jules Renault (Suspended in Time), and Lorenzo Grifantini (W10) as case studies, this paper argues that this type of photography, which explicitly utilizes an archival aesthetic, invites spectators to interrogate the intimate ties between home, memory, and identity. While melancholic, these images serve as a call to action and a form of speculation about the future—rejecting the shiny, computer-generated aesthetics of gentrification for a humanized, often gritty, and authentic version of home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photographic Aesthetics of Home)
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14 pages, 1484 KiB  
Article
POV: A Home of Alterity
by Maria Romanova-Hynes
Arts 2023, 12(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030084 - 24 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1487
Abstract
Challenging the idea of “home” as a safe refuge, or an enclosure of stability, this article explores ways in which home can be envisioned as an ontological space of becoming, where life is always risked. “POV: A Home of Alterity” is conceived within [...] Read more.
Challenging the idea of “home” as a safe refuge, or an enclosure of stability, this article explores ways in which home can be envisioned as an ontological space of becoming, where life is always risked. “POV: A Home of Alterity” is conceived within a deconstructivist theoretical framework and asks the question of how home can be perceived as an open text—a locus of oscillation between inside and outside—for the purpose of revealing home as an inherently traumatic “event,” which presupposes an openness to absolute alterity. To show the traces of otherness in one’s experience of being present (at home), it examines a photograph from Julia Borissova’s project DOM: Document Object Model and sets out to interrogate the concept of “home” through three relationships wherein it emerges: (1) between inside and outside, (2) between the I and the other, and (3) between the I and oneself. Consequently, this article seeks to define home as a representational space of one’s own alterity, where one surrenders to one’s non-coincidence with oneself and hence to experience itself, ultimately revealing that, in an aporetical way, home encrypts the very dislocation it “promises” to shield from. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photographic Aesthetics of Home)
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