What do we want information for if we are not to use it? It is time to review all data available for this research, analyse it, make conclusions, and propose actions.
We can not understand the practice of Photography by just looking at programmed exhibitions, at the output of artists, curators, and organisations. There are far more complex matters at work that influence this practice, and it is worth looking and investigating these if we are to benchmark and improve where we are now. No ambition can be demanded by those who are not ambitious themselves.
During Autumn 2017, we will commence a study that will review all publically funded organisations that affect or relate to the practice and practitioners of Photography in Ireland. The evaluation process will contrast their self-defined role with the actual work done to date, reviewing the organisations archives. As part of this review, we will access data available under the Freedom of Information Act in specific offices like the Arts Council, and others like the CRO, as much as in key archives like NIVAL.
Alongside, benefiting from the findings of the PhotoIreland Wiki, we will evaluate how we are performing in Ireland regarding the support of the discipline.
With all this data at hand, we will be able to reflect on the current situation and propose benchmarked improvements. The results and recommendations derived from our findings will be shared publically, and some privately. We hope the effort will yield valuable information to act upon, not only for the organisations involved, but also for related public bodies like the Arts Council of Ireland and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in terms of funding and public policy.
Progress on this research project will be shared at certain milestones throughout the process, and there are plans to programme a series of activities around it, like symposiums, exhibitions, and the launch of specific publications.