Monday, June 20, 2011

New ideas, musings, and what-if's

So I have been thinking a lot lately about what I want to explore in the coming year and how it might be a good time to do some research for Ph.D apps. One of the ideas I keep coming back to comes out of my MFA work with vernacular photography. Ideas of its memorial nature, its narrativity and physicality come to the fore. While photo theory is dense and difficult, vernacular photography is often an estranged cousin of most photo histories. But what potentials lie in this oft dismissed realm of photography?

While I have been aware of photography's contentious relationship with memory for some time, its narrative and material nature are more recent for me. What connections might I be able to make to a theological approach toward vernacular photography? Could there be potent connections between the narrative interpretations of photo albums and narrative theology, biography, etc? What about portrait photography as iconography? Could either or both be pared with some sort of priesthood of believers? What does a sacramental theology and approach toward the arts have to offer in an engagement with vernacular photography? Given the digital revolution as, what seems to me another step away from the physical and material nature of the photographic object, could a sacramental theology help us re-engage the physicality and materiality of photographic objects. Are there historical arguments in the iconography debates that might lend direction on these ideas?

While these questions are incredibly broad at this point, my hope is to begin to draw a few threads together to refine a better set of questions.