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Returning to Another Black Darkness: Materiality and Mattering in Photobook Encounters over Time

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Briony CarlinORCiD



This article foregrounds a specific, memorable reading of the photobook Another Black Darkness by Sakiko Nomura to unravel the different socio-political agencies of objects and environments that configure how we interpret and understand photobooks, as individual creative works, and as a medium in general. It demonstrates a “methodology of encounter” that revisits an autoethnographic response written in 2018 to critique the ways that materiality, place, positionality, coincidence and time configure certain experiential knowledges that are situated in time and place. Repeat readings of the book and the original text uncover deeper analysis of these entangled affects. Photobooks are produced in multiple, and can be found in many different environments, with different rules of engagement, so it is necessary to develop a critical understanding of the medium that can account for this plurality of encounter. Through focusing on performative, relational moments of meaning-making with photobooks, the article links substance with significance, or, “matter and mattering” (Barad), and shows distinct, experiential capabilities of the photobook as an artistic form.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carlin B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Compendium: Journal of Comparative Studies

Year: 2022

Volume: 2

Pages: 49–67

Online publication date: 31/12/2022

Acceptance date: 17/11/2022

Date deposited: 04/10/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2975-8025

Publisher: (CEComp) Centro de Estudos Comparatistas Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa


DOI: 10.51427/com.jcs.2022.0016


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