Today everybody seems to be accustomed to a certain lack of understanding. What is not understood when looking at the big picture can be substituted by generating sense out of small things and images. These things are collected to allow for different simple and pleasant narratives that can banish feared alienation by creating notions of "home". Cheap cameras (Kodak) became a widespread commodity around 1900 because they made the recording of personal moments an easy task. The stereotypical images of happy families in tidy homes soon carried a political agenda, because they didn't reproduce reality, they recycled clichés. In contrast to the efforts of an artistic avant-garde that championed progress and innovation, the visual culture of private spheres constituted itself mainly through the longing for tradition and conservatism. To dwell in an accumulation of – what I would like to call – re-collectables entails the negation of the attempt to understand and qualify a changing world "out there".

Joseph Imorde is professor of Art History at the University of Siegen.

Authors website:

At Home – The Visual Culture of Privacy | by Joseph Imorde

The podcast "At Home – The Visual Culture of Privacy" is accompanied by seven images you can find in the following pdf-files with the same title.

In each image you will find marked the times where you can switch to the next slide: 1:30; 3:28; 5:45; 12:24; 15:15; 17:03.


#visualvulture, #kodak, #privacy, #cheapcameras, #camera, #photography, #conservatism, #imagescience, #stereotypes