With her photographic series Character Recognition (2006–2007) U.S. artist Myra Greene examines historical constructions of race and racist ways of looking from a perspective that undermines the assumed neutrality of photography. She transforms the old ambrotype technique and encourages to reflect on the power that visual technologies hold over the representation of race and identity. Greene recalls yet disobeys nineteenth-century ethnographic visual practices and looking instructions, creating a technical and metaphorical deferral of the past into the present and of the present into the past. Her photographic practice unveils the ongoing violent effects of nineteenth-century scientific racism on present-day bodies and embodied ways of looking. At the same time, Character Recognition gives new life to the archives of visual colonialism and experiments with photographic representation and body memory as tools for decolonial options of non-normative (visual) spaces.
Stefanie Fock studied Socioeconomy in Hamburg, photography in Barcelona and was a fellowship awardee of the Erasmus Mundus Master GEMMA in Gender Studies at the Universities of Granada and Hull. The focus of her independent research and teaching projects is on the analysis and development of creative visual methods for dealing with gender and racism in photography. In 2017 she received the Best Publication Award Gender and Media for her article Notes on Photography, Power, and Insurgent Looks. Since 2011, she has been directing the community arts project Gender as Collage and is the publisher of the correspondent collective zine.