Despite our stereotypical ideas on photographic images as snapshots (slices of time), photography is fundamentally a time-based medium. The relationships between photography and time are manifold: time can be directly represented within the image, it can be its theme and philosophical horizon, but it can also represent the global framework in which photographic practices develop and change through time. It is the ambition of this book to bring together the various aspects of time in photography as well as of photography in time, and to illustrate them in a series of case studies that focus on seminal authors (e.g. Fox Talbot, Victor Burgin, Robert Morris) and genres (e.g. spirit photography, montage photobooks and tableau photography), with examples ranging from the very first photographic pictures to the most recent cross-medial uses of photography in and outside art.
Given the multifaceted dimensions of the notion of time, the book fosters an interdisciplinary approach, gathering essays by photohistorians as well as by authors with a critical or philosophical background. It foregrounds also reading methods of photography that are indebted to fields that have a great expertise in analyzing time such as narratology and literature. Written by international specialists for a non-specialist audience and displaying extraordinary breadth and erudition, this book reshapes our vision of photography in order to include many crucial yet overlooked aspects of time, culture and art.