An album begins with an empty space. A white shape, devoid of content, to be filled with stamps, postcards, letters, or photographs.1 A book-like object that stores a collection of associations, relationships, stories.
Albums link people with people and people with the objects in their lives. They are at the center of the personal story: about family, about national identity, about place, love, and traumas. Photo albums are social objects whose history is embroiled in the developments of the photographic medium itself. They are possible interpretations, they can teach us to identify new approaches in photography or new aspects in the society and the place in which they were made. They point to the existential aspect of photography and can recount its history while understanding the meanings of photography – materially and socially.
We could compare the formation and activity of the department to the creation of an album, which slowly takes shape over years of collecting and compiling, additions and deletions, multiple edits, through ongoing change, study, and scholarship; as a body of knowledge passed on from generation to generation, from lecturers to students, some of whom eventually take their place as the next generation of teachers in the department and continue to expand the tapestry of associations between the artists and the works.