Found Photo Foundation was set up in 2008 to rescue work produced by professional, amateur, and anonymous photographers found throughout the world. There are multiple reasons these photos became orphaned: they may have been abandoned following the death of their owners, they may have been stolen, or they may have simply ceased to be useful and thrown in the garbage, from where they may have been rescued and put back on the market.
Found Photo Foundation is a practice-based research project, using interdisciplinary methods to unravel diverse meanings of collecting, publishing and curating orphan photography. Organised in informal collections, photographs are made available in editing and publishing workshops, where participants remix the material with photos sourced from other contexts. Copy, re-photography, narrative fictionalisation, experimental autobiography, editorial design create successive layers of narrative and allegorical meaning, coming close to an ‘archeology of the contemporary past’, a practice that consists in recouping ruins of everyday for a dialectical relationship between past and present.
Found Photo Foundation newspaper #1 published for the exhibition Dear Aby Warburg: What can be done with images? Curated by Eva Schmidt, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, 2 December 2012- 3 March 2013. Includes critical essay by Tanja Verlak, An attempt at exhausting an archive /Found Photo Foundation. Newsprint, colour, digital print, 29cm ×38 cm, 36 pages.
More about the newspaper work here
Each work in the Orphan series explores a particular approach to publishing the printed material in the Found Photo Foundation collection.
Orphan #3 FLORAMCCALLICA
Flora McCallica, photobook with collage of orphan photos sourced from Found Photo Foundation. A set dated 1958 found in Lisbon flea market and a 1920s herbarium (Herbarium Britannicum) discarded by London Kew Gardens. 32 pages 38 x 26 cm, laser printed black & white corona offset 120 gsm.
More about the photobook work here
Orphan #2 LISBON VERNACULAR
Lisbon Vernacular sources from three domestic porn photo albums, found in the offices of Lisbon’s leading telecommunications company and currently part of Found Photo Foundation collections. More info about the photobook work here
Orphan #1 BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY
BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY is a 4-part photo-essay with photographs from the Found Photo Foundation. Parts 1 and 2 (Bus Ride) comprise a sequence of 32 photographs in the form of twin books, split in images of double and single-decker buses. Part 3 (A Story) uses text and image with reference to the genre of photo-romance. Part 4 (Transport Enthusiasts) elucidates the raison d’être of the overall work, as well as the context in which the photographs were taken, through correspondence with one of the original photographers.108 pages
4 separate books (B&W, duotone and colour). More on the photobook here
Unbound: David Faithful, Jo Milne, paula roush & Print City curated by Rob McDonald, October 20 – November 9, 2017. Central to my work with Found Photo Foundation is the selection and publication of images in a variety of media, ranging from photobooks to photo-texts, newspapers and multiples. This exhibition includes works sourced from Found Photo Foundation and other photographic collections.
Connecting Worlds, curated by Drawing Room in collaboration with UBM plc., 9 September 2013 – 14 March 2014. The photocollage work Time of Its Other (allegories of history, included in the exhibition were sourced from Found Photo Foundation and unearth a period of collective amnesia and censorship in Portuguese history that lasted until 1974.
Dear Aby Warburg: What can be done with images? Curated by Eva Schmidt, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, 2 December 2012- 3 March 2013
Paradigm Store Curated by HS Projects, 5 Howick Place, London, September 25 – November 5, 2014