Significant Features

Significant Features

26th June 2014 - 5th July 2014

International Project Space, School of Art Bournville, Birmingham


Significant Features showcases the site-responsive work that students have made with Bournville as their focus. Ten students will present new work alongside extraordinary material from the Bournville Village Archive. Having used a variety of creative techniques including video, sculpture and photography, Significant Features presents contemporary insights into the village’s iconic architectural design and examine the experiences of Bournville residents.

Students have worked under the guidance of a number of external partners in realising this exhibition and publication including design studio An Endless Supply; Director of Grand Union, Cheryl Jones; and arts marketing consultancy Helen Stallard Communications.

The project is an outcome of ‘Photography and The Archive’, one of the GRAIN research partnerships and a collaborative project with Birmingham City University and Stuart Whipps.

The relationship between photography and the archive is as old as the medium itself. Photographs were adopted by the emerging state apparatus of the late nineteenth and early 20th century as documents of indexical veracity. These archives had functions as multitudinous as the images themselves and were applied for both mundane clerical purposes, and to reinforce complex ideological positions. With the development of advanced technologies, both analogue and digital, this system of archiving and use has become more nuanced. Artists and photographers have been responding to archives for as long as they have existed, and continue to engage with the aesthetics and politics of this application of the medium.

This project explores the definition and application of Documentary Photography in relationship to the archive through theoretical and practical methods. It interrogates ideas of objectivity and demands a broad and inquisitive approach to questions on the uses of archive material, from a historic and contemporary perspective.

Open Wednesday to Saturday from 12-5pm

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