I am taking a hiatus from blogging. The posts I now add will be unedited and unpolished, please forgive me. I am using this platform as a storage place for interesting things. I am currently focusing on editing wikipedia articles on contemporary art instead. I encourage you to do the same and to follow still very active blogs like hyperallergic, c-monster, bldgblog, and more. thanks you.

MEGAPOST: New interpretations of the photograph

While photography seems to be a concrete medium with dependable kinds of outcomes, many artists today are exploring the possibilities of the camera through radical materials and manipulations, and sometimes without using a camera at all. Contemporary photography is anything but consistent, and every bit as exciting, unpredictable, and challenging as any other medium.

Johan Berggren prints his images on non-traditional surfaces. Above, Shelf R-S, printed on cardboard, and Untitled #2 (Burn Out series) printed on a silk scarf. Like modernist painters who abandoned the traditional canvas, Berggren alters the surface of his print as if to ask, "When is a photograph no longer a photograph?" I especially love the silk scarf because it's so unassuming and looks like something you could find in a nice boutique. But your association with the scarf would surely change once you saw it in a gallery setting and understood that the original image was a photograph.

Another photographer who recalls modernist and post-modernist painting is Pia Howell. She uses a cameraless process that is still mind-boggling to me: in the darkroom, she filters raw colored light through stencils and patterns to create these images directly on the paper. These look nothing like photographs, and yet they're made in the tradition of the photogram, which was one of the earliest cameraless methods of creating photographs in the darkroom. These genre-bending images also remind me of work by painter Tauba Auerbach

Although motion-blurred portraits are not necessarily a novel idea, the process behind this series absolutely is. Vanessa Ban and Andrea Fam collaborated on this series, This is not the Body; this is an image of the Body, in which they turned the power of the photographer over to their subjects. The nude subject is left alone with the camera for 25 seconds, during which time they are allowed to alter the manipulation with the movement of their own bodies, and can do so independently of the photographer's wishes or expectations. The photographers, then, are the ones who are treated with a surprise at the end of the project. 

- Jessica

1 comment:

  1. Nice megapost jessica. I was wondering, if the scarf looks like it could be in a nice boutique, what is gained by it being in a gallery? Should their be a difference? I am really impressed by the color photograms. Thanks