Lecture 3- Concepts and Approaches

The Pictures Generation: Representation, Appropriation, and Postmodernism

Conceptual photography

  • Never take anything as a given, always challenge it, question it
  • ‘The art of portraits and nude’ photography manual
  • Dig deep, wanting a big response from the readers, get people thinking, expect criticism
  • Conceptual photography- there is more there than you first see, question what is in the image and outside it
  • Bas Jan Adder- conceptual photographic works
  • Paul Graham- The unreasonable apple
  • Expression, personal, impulsive, response of the eye, poetic, emotional- before conceptualism
  • Conceptualism- the idea over rides everything else
  • When you can’t work the image out straight away that may be when it is interesting
  • To oppose something is a position with politics

Representation

Appropriation

Modernism

Non-linear history

Postmodernism

The pictures generation

Representation

  • Manifesting an idea for reality
  • The recognition of what was not recognised as reality
  • Different to the term reality
  • Searching to document reality and represent what hasn’t been shown enough through photography
  • The construction of the image through a desire to see something that may not be there
  • Photographs construct representations of reality
  • Photographs offer only a select amount of available information at their time of capture
  • Photographers make choices when they photography, this speaks of a politics of seeing
  • Documentary images suggests that there is a reality in it, but we are only seeing a small portion of the information- what the photographer has chosen
  • Photographs exist between fact and fiction- they move from reality and its representation
  • THINK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP OF FACT AND FICTION

Appropriation

  • Process in art practise- happens in painting and other medias but key in photography
  • The selection and presentation of objects or images from the real world including already existing artworks into a new work
  • Taking visually existing material and combining them to make something new
  • Georges Braque- the pedestal table, 1913
  • Pablo Picasso, bottle of vieux Marc, 1913
  • Collages
  • Recontextualising and rethink the meaning of the existing artworks

The pictures generation

  • We can trace these practises to the present day through conceptual art and into the 70’s and 80’s with the formation of the pictures generation
  • Must be understood by the way of political events
  • Douglas Crimp- curator of ‘pictures 1977’ in New York, the artists space
  • Turning away from minimalism and conceptualism
  • Wanted to return to a sense of power within their images, a political reference (aesthetic and politics), they want to say something within their images
  • Mass media was huge in this times
  • Quoting text from other people and bringing it to make their own work (for example newspapers)
  • Sherrie Levine, After walker Evans, 1981
  • Cindy Sherman, untitled, 1978
  • Relationships between fact and fiction
  • Richard Prince, Cowboys, 1980-ongoing
  • Questions authorship and ownership within his work

Post modernism

  • Specific moment or event where the new came about
  • The moment ‘when it all changed’
  • We cant think that history is linear it is not a flow of event to start to finish, there is no logical order
  • Arguments did postmodernism happen or is it just a new stem of modernism, hard to say what started when

Modernism

  • Always thinking about what is new
  • The new
  • Watching for the new to happen
  • Time lapse photography

Photography is key to all the major movements in time- a lot of the key words

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