Since 1980, the magazine Camera Austria International has been providing its readers with insights into important discourses on the role of photography as a medium and practice of contemporary art—presenting outstanding artists who have made extraordinary contributions to the continual development of the medium. The magazine is not primarily engaged with topicality but also makes materials available that, as part of long-term and sustainable discourse, also retains significance after the fact as source material. Over the years, this has resulted in an—at times surprising—archive and reference body on contemporary photography.
Still posed at the heart of this bilingual (ger./eng.) quarterly are the monographic contributions about artists whose work is decisive in defining a current perspective on photography. This is accompanied by the Forum section, which introduces—often in cooperation with curators, writers, or artists—remarkable positions by young international artists who are not yet well known but already display a unique profile. The profile of the magazine is rounded off by a tailored overview of current international exhibitions and recently published books.
Once a year, Camera Austria departs from the classical structure of the magazine in order to invite artists to guest edit an issue of the magazine, and in this framework to probe a theme of artistic and theoretical focus.
The exhibition program, which places a focus on solo exhibitions, usually presents long-term projects developed specifically for Camera Austria. The respective artistic positions shed light on important image-political issues and cover a broad, multilayered spectrum of research on the photographic image: specters of archives, questions related to knowledge production, the construction of identities, artistic research, feminist critique, the reconstruction of history, and the erosion of social utopias. The common frame of these positions and projects may well lie in maintaining the social relevance of the photographic image, rather than in merely examining its cultural role.
Since 1977 Camera Austria has been publishing exhibition catalogues and books in the Edition Camera Austria with a focus placed on Austrian artists. The publications are created in close collaboration with the artists themselves, often giving a first overview of their work or introducing new projects. In addition to the monographs, books are released that take their point of departure from Camera Austria exhibition projects.
In the year 2001, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu entrusted Camera Austria with his entire archive of photographs taken during his field research work in Algeria between 1958 and 1961. It was his express wish that these pictures be made accessible to the public for the first time in exhibition and publication form. In collaboration with the Fondation Pierre Bourdieu in St. Gallen, the photographs were viewed, sorted, and have since been exhibited globally in numerous exhibitions. They have also featured in a monographic publication already translated into nine languages
Since 1989, the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz has been bestowed every two years, by an international jury, on an artist who has published an outstanding contribution in the magazine. The accolade counts among the most prestigious awards for art photography in Europe. The first award recipient was Nan Goldin in 1989, followed by Seiichi Furuya, David Goldblatt, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Allan Sekula, Aglaia Konrad, Walid Raad, Sanja Iveković, Heidrun Holzfeind, Joachim Koester, Annette Kelm, and Jochen Lempert, among others.
Our publicly accessible library in Graz offers an excellent cross-section of photography-related books published since the 1970s. It features over 10,000 monographs, exhibition catalogues, and reference works, as well as over 6,000 titles from approx. 70 different magazines—including countless out-of-print publications and artists’ books. The library thus provides visitors with an opportunity to research the varied links between photography and contemporary art against an international backdrop.
In the year 2017, Camera Austria digitalized and published a large portion of its project archive spanning the years 1974–2002. This makes Camera Austria one of the few, if not the only, institution in the realm of contemporary art in Austria to open their reference collection in the reference library to the public.
More info HERE
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