On-Site and the Imaginary

Linda Herzog

Imperialism is not fiction – from what one can see on wars and borders. In imperial endeavors, immense archives have been collected from different places and sites by various medias. In photography one speaks of an imperial imaginary, as geographies, historical heritage, people, and the contemporary have been visualized in specific representation models indicating the „imperial gaze“. My research focuses on archaeological photographs of historical buildings taken in the Ottoman Empire before the outbreak of the First World War (http://gertrudebell.ncl.ac.uk). I have explored the sites with my camera to investigate in situ the representation models in the historical photographs. In a further step, the contemporary photographs serve as a tool of reflection in the analysis of the historical pictures. They offer visual references to the present and function as visual comments. They also bring into discussion the buildings’ symbolic value on-site. This research is part of my PhD project and – from an artistic point of view – offers the space to critically investigate one’s own photographic perception.

Photo Credit: Linda Herzog

Linda Herzog is a Swiss photographer, artist and art mediator (http://grad.ch). She studied Fine Arts and Art Education. After living in Turkey for three years, she published her photo book Mihriban. Turkey 2004-2007. In her following photographic work, she has focused on migration phenomena and their visibility. Currently, she is undertaking her practice-based PhD at the University of Bern, doctoral program Studies in the Arts SINTA (https://www.sinta.unibe.ch/research/portraits_of_doctoral_students/doctoral_students/herzog_linda/index_eng.html).