Could we benefit from factual and honest critical research around Photography in Ireland?
We believe so.
In Autumn 2017, the Critical Academy initiated two long-term research projects looking at specific aspects around its practice, opening a public discussion, and sharing findings along the way. The gathered research will inform a constructive review to be published.
Project 01 —
Photography in Ireland: Policy & Practice beyond 2020
During Autumn 2017, we will commence a long-term 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.
Project 02 —
Launching in March 2019, the PhotoIrelandffoundat Wiki website that will facilitate the collection of historical data relating to the practice of Photography in Ireland for future analysis. The url is wiki.photoireland.org
As commonly defined, ‘a wiki is a website on which users collaboratively modify content and structure directly from the web browser’. The purpose in this case is to allow Irish and Ireland based practitioners to stand up and be counted, profiling themselves on the website, inputting their own historic list of exhibitions, their publications, awards, educational backgrounds, etc.
The data gathered will contribute to a better understanding of the practice over time, specifically looking at the last 20 years – as we aim to connect this research with previous and extensive research now available. It will also serve us to identify and evaluate how organisations in Ireland and abroad have engaged over time with the artists.
Finally, the information gathered and its evaluation will add to the extent of Project 01.
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.