Concepts and Approaches Lecture 6

Photography and the expanded field: abstraction and Materiality

  • Conflicting lines video- looking at images of conflict, the lines hitting curves and looking at the conflicts, try and create a photograph that has the nature of a painting- showing the photographs as the final piece


Mediums, paradigms, abstraction, photography and painting, photography and sculpture, photography and installation


Photography and painting

  • Left it to explore other avenues and other ideas- no longer has to be liked/aesthetically pleasing


  • Mediums: ‘the history of art before photography is a history of genres’
  • ‘Photography replaced painting in its function of visual representation… photography ‘freed’ painting’
  • Paradigm: ‘thinking and practice’, can be divided into 5 moments
  1. 1870s- 1910s: Pictorialism (Henry Robinson, when the days work is done, combination print from 6 negatives)
  2. 1920s-1930s: Avant-garde/ modernist (formalism) (Man Ray, Rayograph- cameraless photogram, 1926)
  3. 1945-1960s: New realism/humanist photography (Walker Evans people and places in trouble, fortune magazine, 1961- complete editorial control)
  4. 1960-1979: Minimalism, conceptualism, late modernism (Mel Bochner, misunderstanding- a theory of photography, 1967-70)
  5. 1980- 1990s: post modernism/neoconceptualism, the continuation and rejuvenation of conceptual practices (Barbara Kruger, your life is a perpetual insomnia, 1987)
  • The pictorial paradigm
  • Edouard Manet, a bar at the folies-bergere, 1882
  • Jeff Wall, picture for women, 1979
  • Link of text and photography- conceptualism

Photography and abstraction

  • Lyle Rexer
  • Manuel Geerinck, untitled [ph 1104], chromogenic print, 2004, rephotographing and layering images, or a slow shutter speed
  • Walead Beshty, 4-sided picture (MYRB) 2007, the process is blind, something other than a photograph? Blind drawings? A game or gambling- there are a range of outcomes, relationships of forces and what outcomes they can create, he becomes another machine of the process, no hierarchy about his choice
  • Alison Rossiter- darkroom experiments with expired paper, images that are making themselves, made by atmospheric damages and light exposure, mould, anything. Dates on the paper suggest a timeline through history. Finding photograms, just putting it through the chemistry see what’s there, selectively developing- only certain parts of paper so not all black- darkroom techniques. Simple things. Finding fingerprints of the previous photographer.
  • Wolfgang Tillmans, star struck No.3, 2000- abstract often used to punctuate works that is more representational, commas or full stops, helps him create a narrative
  • Idris Kahn, erased Christmas tree, 2013
  • Amy Petra Woodward, transfixed, UV finished ink on silver reflective stretch fabric, 2014

Photography and sculpture/installation

  • Darren Harvey-Regan, phrasings, c-type print and rock 2013, interest with photography and language, role reversal, painting on floor rock on wall
  • Jonathan Murphy, paper gnomon, live cyanotype on wall, paper, cardboard, 2015, the wall continues to expose during the day of the exhibition- interesting relationship to time