EXPLORING THE EYE OF HISTORY: NEA SYMPOSIUM ON 19TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY
There are still spots available to attend the afternoon symposium portion of “Exploring the Eye of History,” the New England Archivists’ Fall 2015 Meeting at the Providence Public Library in Providence, Rhode Island. The symposium will include talks and workshop-style sessions devoted to the identification and description of 19th-century photography. The day will culminate with a collaborative performance of a magic lantern show by Providence's Wonder Show.
STRANGE SITES AND UNTOLD STORIES: JUST WHAT IS A WONDER SHOW?
The Wonder Show is a group of artists who explore new ways of viewing, storytelling and community-building through contemporary reinterpretations of the Victorian magical lantern show. Anya Ventura (emeritus) and Carolyn Gennari describe why lantern slide shows appeal to them as artists: "Seemingly composed of nothing but light and shadow, projected images suggest a certain wavering faithfulness to reality but only an ephemeral, and perhaps deceptive, one. The projected image challenges the relationship between the seen and unseen, reality and representation, and reason and belief. As we thought about what a 21st-century magic lantern show might look like, we became interested in how the idea of sympathetic magic might be applied to the idea of art-making itself. We researched magic lantern shows, Phantasmagoria or ghost shows, Spiritualist séances, and magician's conjuring tricks—all to uncover something about the nature of illusion, and the magic of giving form to the spirit, the invisible, the ghosts of history."
For the NEA Fall 2015 Meeting, The Wonder Show will present an abbreviated version of their performance "Strange Sites and Untold Stories." For this show they worked with the Providence Public Library's special collections, reproducing—using 19th-century photographic techniques—an enigmatic collection of snapshots documenting life in Rhode Island at the turn of the century. The show features a series of readers performing original stories as the photographs are projected behind them with the magic lantern.
Visit https://thewondershow.wordpress.com/shows/ or http://www.provlib.org/exhibitions/wondershow for more information.
The Fall 2015 Meeting Committee has worked diligently to bring you a completely unique meeting experience, so reserve your space before it fills up. For more information about the program, local resources (such as parking, hotels, and restaurants), and the registration process, see the NEA website or follow us on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #NEAfall15.
Looking forward to seeing you in Providence!
Fall 2015 Program Committee
New England Archivists