sábado, 10 de janeiro de 2009

Photography into Contemporary Art: The Bigger Picture

"Photography into Contemporary Art: The Bigger Picture
Postgraduate Conference, University of Essex, Colchester Friday, 15 May 2009


Since the 1960s, photography has put into question well-established procedures, beliefs and categories in artistic practise and theory. Central issues within conceptual art, time-based art, theories of postmodernism, etc. were raised in relation to photography as a medium and as a recording device. This one-day conference aims to trace the implications of photography in the expanded field of contemporary art. We invite proposals for papers focusing on contemporary artistic practises as well as theories concerned with photography, and we especially encourage contributions that creatively combine both art historical and philosophical perspectives. Proposals from graduates in fields other than art history that aim to contribute to the topic would also be welcome. The historical time-frame will be broadly interpreted as 1950s to the present, but exceptions may be made.

Past events

Photography as a Medium (post-digitalisation) 21-22 November 2008
Institute for Philosophy, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1

Aesthetics after Photography - ASA Panel - 6 November 2008

AAH Annual Conference, April 2-4, 2008
Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Art

Photography after Conceptual Art

The title of this session can be taken in two directions. One can, with Jeff Wall, see conceptual photography as ‘the last moment of the pre-history of photography as art’ and so see the large-scale, colour photography of Thomas Demand, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth and Wall himself, as the realization of the ambition of the medium to become an autonomous art form. Certainly it has been welcomed by the museum, market and many critics as such.

Alternatively, the title might gesture in the direction of contemporary work that more clearly bears the traces of its passage through conceptual art. Much of the work that could be described in these terms is often produced by artists who employ photography alongside a range of other artistic media and activities to achieve their goals – Francis Alÿs, Sophie Calle, James Coleman, Tacita Dean, Louise Lawler and Gabriel Orozco. In the former case, photography holds its rightful place as a medium among other autonomous art forms; in the latter, photographic practices tend to blur the boundaries between the arts.

Do these twin poles of the pictorial and the conceptual continue to organize the field of photography as a medium for contemporary art? Should photography be approached through aesthetic categories that apply more generally to pictorial arts or does it require a distinct framework to do justice to its specificity as both a medium and a technical apparatus?

This session, which seeks to open up a debate about what is at stake in contemporary photographic art, forms part of large AHRC funded research project, Aesthetics after Photography, concerning the challenges of recent art photography to aesthetic theory. Papers that engage with substantive theoretical or aesthetic issues raised by post-1960s photography as an artistic medium would therefore be welcome, particularly in light of the oft-heard claim that the arts now inhabits a ‘post-medium’ condition. Proposals from artists, curators and academics are invited.

Click here to view the list of speakers and accompanying session abstracts.

* Prof Margaret Iversen, Dept. of Art History and Theory, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ; miversen@essex.ac.uk
* Dr Diarmuid Costello, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Warwick, CV4 7AL; Diarmuid.Costello@warwick.ac.uk "

Source: http://www2.essex.ac.uk/arthistory/ahrc/events/


"List of speakers and accompanying session abstracts:

Photography after Conceptual Art

AAH Annual Conference, Tate Britain/Chelsea College of Art, April 2008

Prof. Margaret Iversen, Dept. of Art History and Theory, University of Essex. miversen@essex.ac.uk

Dr. Diarmuid Costello, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Warwick. Diarmuid.Costello@warwick.ac.uk

Day One

1. Ed Ruscha and Performative Photography

Prof. Margaret Iversen

Department of History and Director of AHRC ‘Aesthetics after Photography’ research project, University of Essex. miversen@essex.ac.uk

In his influential essay on conceptual photography, ‘Marks of Indifference,’ Jeff Wall offers an interpretation of Ed Ruscha’s work as an imitation of amateur photography. While amateurishness might well describe the look of Ruscha’s snapshots, their actual context in beautifully designed little books, makes that view of his work implausible. Ruscha’s ground-breaking 1963 book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, consists of a series of photographs of gas stations along Route 66. Ruscha explained in an interview that he liked the word ‘gasoline’ and the random specificity of number 26. The title, formulated in advance, provided the nub of an instruction. He set himself a simple brief and understood the photographs as records of large-scale readymades. Depersonalization pervades the work in terms of the pre-set project, the readymade object and the uninflected snapshots. Wall’s positioning the work of Ruscha and other artists of the period in relation to ‘non-autonomous,’ that is, photojournalistic or amateur, photography does nothing to capture this deliberate affectless, depersonalized, repetitious, deadpan use of the camera. An article about conceptual photography by Liz Kotz, ‘Language between Performance and Photography’ (2005) is more helpful, I think, in explaining this quality. She puts conceptual art in touch with earlier performance-based pieces which were governed by a notational system or ‘score’. The performance follows the score but the outcome in each instance is unforeseeable. The idea of instructional performance also brings out the open-ended, experimental character of Rucha’s works such as Thirtyfour Parking Lots or Royal Road Test.

2. Deadpan and the Absorption of Skepticism
Prof. Aron Vinegar

Department of History of Art, Ohio State University. vinegar.2@osu.edu

The word most often used to describe Ed Ruscha’s photographic practice is ‘deadpan.’ ‘Deadpan’ suggests a flat, affectless mode of delivery, and is often associated with Anglo-American humour. Benjamin Buchloh’s influential essay, ‘Conceptual Art 1962-69: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions,’ consolidated this characterization, claiming that Ruscha’s photographic practice emerged from Duchamp and Cage’s legacy of an ‘aesthetic of indifference,’ and that his ‘deadpan’ approach to photography was characterized by the acceptance of a ‘universally valid facticity.’ However, this vocabulary of ‘indifference,’ ‘facticity,’ and the ‘deadpan’ is never explicitly tied back to its rich philosophical sources. This paper will do so by exploring issues of ‘indifference,’ ‘equanimity,’ and ‘factiticy’ primarily addressed in Heidegger’s Being and Time, and how these might intersect with Stanley Cavell’s intriguing comments on Buster Keaton. The lack of emotion in Keaton’s face, coupled with his eternal agility, are signs of his peculiar receptiveness to the world, in which he is ready for the best and worst that the world has to offer. Specifically, Cavell claims that Keaton’s particular approach to the world is one that ‘absorbs skepticism.’ A ‘serious’ investigation of the deadpan might enable us to open other ways of thinking about conceptual and post-conceptual photography, and the crucial issues of mood, medium, and expression that they reconfigure.

3. Productive Misunderstandings: Interpreting Mel Bochner’s Theory of Photography

Luke Skrebowski

PhD candidate, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy/Dept of Visual Culture & Media, Middlesex University, UK. lusk01@gmail.com

I would like to see it [photography] make people despise painting
until something else will make photography unbearable.

Marcel Duchamp, 1922

One of the tasks, and historical achievements, of Conceptual art was to ‘despise’ painting. It succeeded where Duchamp’s readymade arguably did not, decisively rendering a work's status as a painting insufficient to qualify it for the status of art. The use of photography in, or as, Conceptual art was one way in which this was achieved. Paradoxically, the most prominent outcome of this progressive use of photography has been conservative. Post-conceptual photography, developing a restricted reading of Conceptual art's 'failure,' has legitimated itself as an alternative artistic medium, a way to continue the Western tradition of picture-making. Here both Richter's photo-paintings and Wall's painting-photos are exemplary, dual models for legion imitators.

There is, however, an alternative genealogy of post-conceptual photography, one which does not affirm it as an autonomous medium. Mel Bochner chose Duchamp's caustic remark as an epigraph for his Misunderstandings (A Theory of Photography) (1967-70). The work, a series of photographs of hand-written quotations on index cards, concluded Bochner's brief period of photographic experimentation. Yet this small, over-looked body of work holds important historical and theoretical significance. Bochner's photography contradicts Wall's influential account of photo-conceptualism as 'a turn away from Conceptual art […] the last moment of the pre-history of photography as art.' By reconceiving photography as information, Bochner broke decisively with indexicality, widely taken to be photography's ineliminable, medium-specific characteristic. As such, his photography constitutes both a neglected moment in Conceptual art's negation of medium, and an anticipation of contemporary, digitally-inflected, challenges to photography’s ontological security.

4. Dr. Gordon Hughes

Making Faces: Douglas Huebler’s photographic portraits

Post-Doctoral Fellow in Art History, Rice University, Texas. Gah2@rice.edu

Contrary to the conventional view of Douglas Huebler’s use of photography as being of a piece with his systems-based Conceptualism, this paper argues that a decisive shift occurs in his use of photography in 1970. Rather than use photography to reinforce a tight-knit system in which text and photograph mutually reinforce each other, Huebler begins to concentrate on photographic portraiture as a means to undermine the very text-based systems that appear to structure his photographs. This paper examines the shift from Huebler’s early systems-based photographic practice to his later use of photographic portraiture as a means to frustrate the very systems that seem to organize them. Particular attention will be paid to Huebler’s photographic portraits of Bernd Becher in Variable Piece #101, and Huebler’s ultimate anti-system Variable Piece #70, his patently impossible photographic (anti-)archive of everyone alive.

5. Close-ups, Archives, Doubles, Series Portraits: Roni Horn and Photography

Dr. Mark Godfrey

Curatorial Department, Tate Modern, UK. mark.godfrey@tate.org.uk

The American artist Roni Horn (b. 1955) was first known for her work in sculpture and drawing, but photography has also been important to her practice since the early 1980s. The medium serves her in many ways, as I will explore. One of Horn’s earliest published photographs was a black-and-white close-up of a sculpture titled Gold Field – the image suggested a way of seeing the sculpture that was quite distanced from the expected way one would encounter it. Other groups of Horn’s early photographs were published in a series of artist’s books titled To Place: the photographs are documents of particular geographic, architectural, and cultural features of Iceland’s landscape. These photographs suggest different possibilities about the relationship between photography and object making: photography allows the sculptor to find new forms in the world – but the images trigger new questions: what does it mean to use photography to archive a shifting landscape? If Horn is interested in Iceland because it is constantly changing, how can she work with (but also against) a medium that produces a fixed image of a landscape? In this paper I do not hope to produce a monolithic theory of how photography functions for Horn. Instead, I want to see how she has used various aspects of post-conceptual photography (seriality; archiving; text/image relationships) to different ends. Comparisons will be made with the work of artists such as the Bechers, Barbara Kruger, and Rineke Dijkstra.

6. Hybrid Capture: James Welling’s Photographs

James Nisbet

PhD Candidate, Dept. of Art and Art History, Stanford University and

Lecturer, California College of the Arts. jnisbet5@yahoo.com

Between the poles of Jeff Wall's statement on the autonomy of the photographic medium and recent art that employs photography as a key tool of intermedia art, there is an alternate trajectory of conceptualism in photography realized in the work of James Welling. Since his time at Cal Arts in the 1970s, studying the work of Douglas Huebler, John Baldessari, and (less locally) Bernd and Hilla Becher, Welling has systematically examined the act of making photographs as a means to resist any attempt to universalize photographic information by way of ontological claims for the apparatus. From the beginning, his project has attended to conceptual work centered in the late 1960s, by redefining photo-conceptualism as but one more iteration among many in the history of photography that treats the photograph as a document of transparent information.

As a response to this recurring pattern, Welling's career can be parsed into three interrelated strategies: (i) abstraction as a means to subvert the photographic referent; (ii) documentary photographs of nineteenth-century subjects to recode the roots of photographic documentation; (iii) self-proclaimed 'hybrid' investigations of such qualities as light, framing and color to realize new and historically contingent possibilities for photographic impressions. I propose to explicate and examine these various strategies against the implications they raise about repetition and recursivity, as these have recently been discussed by Rosalind Krauss in several essays addressing technological obsolescence and the formation of new artistic mediums.

7. ‘Near-Documentary’ in the Work of Jeff Wall

Dr. Wölfgang Brückle

Research Fellow, AHRC Research Project: ‘Aesthetics after Photography,’ University of Essex, UK. wbruckle@essex.ac.uk

No contemporary photographer is held in such high esteem amongst art historians as Jeff Wall. This is, of course, partly because in his writing he positions his work in relation to both art history and the theories of specific art historians. Thus, much of the theoretical writing on Wall applies paradigms to his work that he has claimed for himself. For instance, Wall’s work appears to confirm critical categories, such as ‘absorption,’ that are applied to it by Michael Fried who is, at the same time, aware of their being used by Wall as a source of inspiration.

With this circularity in mind, this paper debates problems of value-making in photographic history. Fried’s criticism ties his work back to the tradition of modernist painting, but Wall's recent work focuses on a different tradition entirely. The ‘cinematographic’ model in Wall’s work is arguably giving way to allusions to documentary traditions he once deemed outdated. These documentary pictures have yet to attract much attention. Are they more than mere hommages to Atget, Evans, Abbott and Adams? Do they contest the ‘cinematographic,’ or do they confirm its near-documentary stylization—recalling Evans’s notion of ‘documentary style’—in Wall's work? Should we accept this stylization or defend the documentary tradition Wall is alluding to against its incorporation into his neo-realism? These questions about how to accommodate Wall’s ‘straight’ pictures within his work as a whole are not yet resolved. Comparisons with the aims of other contemporary documentary photographers may help to elucidate these questions.

8. Morning Cleaning: Jeff Wall’s Large Glass

Dr. Christine Conley

Universtiy of Ottawa, Canada. christineconley@sympatico.ca

Jeff Wall’s Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona 1999 is a photographic tableau characteristic of his practice since the early 1990s: a large format, colour transparency mounted as a light box, employing digital technology to achieve the seamless appearance of captured reality. The scene is the German pavilion designed by Mies for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, a key example of modernist architecture reconstructed in the 1980s. The ostensible subject is the cleaning of the wide expanse of windows that separate the interior from an outdoor pool where the morning sun illuminates Georg Kolbe’s sculpture of a female nude entitled Dawn. Inside, a male window cleaner, oblivious to the gaze of the spectator, intently prepares his squeegee in the moments before removing the soapy veil that obscures Kolbe’s sculpture. For Michael Fried, Morning Cleaning is a profound instance of Wall’s renewal of the antitheatrical aims of High Modernist painting. This paper, contrary to Fried’s reading, looks to Duchamp’s Large Glass as the model for its structuring tensions, where the insistent bifurcation of the composition by the spectral gleam of Mies’ cruciform column bars any lateral "intercourse" between the animate/inanimate, male/female figures. Considering Morning Cleaning as a Duchampian delay within the historical context of Mies’ pavilion and Kolbe’s sculpture, opens up a reading beyond arrested sexual desire, pointing allegorically to the frustrated dreams of the avant-garde to engage meaningfully those of the proletariat. Here the reflexivity of conceptual art meets the melancholic gaze of the allegorist as Walter Benjamin’s Grübler.

Day Two

9. Photography and the Banal

Dr. Rosemary Hawker

Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane. r.hawker@griffith.edu.au

In the work of many contemporary artist/photographers (Thomas Demand, Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Gabriel Orozco, Tacita Dean) the subject shifts between the banal and the spectacular. It is no mere coincidence that they address such extremes; rather, it is a product of a problem that has dogged the medium: photography’s aesthetic uptake is compromised by its apparently being too closely and easily connected to empirical reality.

In light of this, photographers have the option of amplifying this connection and opening the medium to a system of affect by revelling in appearances, the ease of the spectacular photographic view, and the complexity of the staged tableau. As the panel description suggests, these artists take photography into the disciplinary structure of art. On the other hand, these same photographers concentrate in other works on the banality of the photograph’s appearance, the acute recognisability that approaches a visual tautology that is perhaps native to photography. The latter is, however, what finally allows these works to achieve an immediate aesthetic effect grounded in redundancy.

I am not suggesting that these two approaches evidence a simple opposition between the banal and the spectacular that can define the medium. Rather, they are different aspects of the exploration of the photography’s aesthetic possibilities. This photography of the banal may seem to be ‘after’ conceptual art in the sense that it is anti-conceptual, but this is something of a paradox: anti-conceptual banality provides photography with a concept of its limit as art.

10. From "The Directorial Mode" to "The Anti Photographers"

Dr. Catherine Grant

Teaching Fellow, Slade School of Fine Art and Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute, UK. Catherine_Grant@talk21.com

This paper considers the publication of two articles in one issue of Artforum, in September 1976. Together A.D. Coleman’s "The Directorial Mode: Notes Towards a Definition" and Nancy Foote’s "The Anti Photographers" capture the tension between the pictorial and the conceptual that this session addresses, and allows for a consideration of the histories of narrative photography and conceptual art that jointly inform many strands of contemporary photographic art. Although these overlapping histories of photography and art are often considered separately, this paper argues that it is only in their crossing over that much contemporary photographic art can be understood. Focusing on the emergence of narrative photography in the 1990s, in exhibitions such as the ICA’s 1999 Sightings: New Photographic Art, the tension between the documentary and the fictional within contemporary works will be discussed in relation to the dialogue set up between Coleman’s concept of the directorial mode and Foote’s concept of anti-photographers. The privileging of the photographic as a key postmodern strategy will be discussed as emerging from this revisionist moment in the mid 1970s, which sought to construct new histories of photography, as well as to deconstruct the art object. The return of the photograph as a material, colourful, seductive and narrative-driven form will be discussed alongside a consideration of the photograph as a performance space. The aesthetic gap between the anti photographers and directorial mode can be seen as having a shared conceptual base -- one which remains specifically ‘photographic’, whilst referring to other media such as cinema and painting.

11. Victor Burgin, Thomas Demand and the Logical Structure of Photography

Prof. Dr. Alexander Streitberger

Département d’archéologie et d’histoire de l’art

Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. alex.streitberger@uclouvain.be

In his essay ‘Rules of Thumb’ from 1971, Victor Burgin refers to a key text of logical positivism, Rudolf Carnap’s The Logical Structure of the World. Suggesting an analogy of the art system with Carnap’s description categories, he emphasizes the instrumental character of art to the disadvantage of its pictorial qualities. After being forgotten by the artists of the next generation, Carnap’s logical empiricism reappears in Thomas Demand’s artistic edition of the philosopher’s essay ‘Pseudo Problems of Philosophy.’

This overlap in the philosophical sources of the two artists raises numerous questions: Wherein lies the interest of Carnap’s philosophy, respectively, for Burgin’s and Demand’s theoretical approaches? What are the consequences of this interest for their photographic practices? How does logical empiricism fit with the virtuality of Demand’s high gloss photographs, which try to dissimulate their origins rather than defining them? Could Carnap’s philosophical notions of ‘verification’ and ‘critical reconstruction’ be employed to disclose new perspectives on the relation between conceptual and pictorial photography? Considering Carnap’s theory as a kind of ‘missing link’ between the early Burgin’s and Demand’s theoretical and photographic approaches, this paper proposes to reevaluate the categorical distinction between conceptual and pictorial photography, as well as the problem of the referent in the medium of photography as such.

12. Thomas Demand’s Uncanny Re-Staging of Atget

Dr. Tamara Trodd

Department of History of Art, School of Arts, Culture and Environment,
University of Edinburgh. Tamara.Trodd@ed.ac.uk

In his ‘Work of Art’ essay, Walter Benjamin famously described Atget as photographing deserted Paris streets ‘like scenes of crime’, and in so doing not only opened up his reading of Atget’s photographs to the register of the uncanny but exceeded his own terms for the description of the de-auratic work of art, opening a door to let a version of ‘aura’ back in. Michael Fried’s recent praise of Demand as rescuing photography from chance by excavation from within it of a structure of ‘intendedness’, I suggest, links back to the quality Benjamin discerned in Atget. Demand, on my reading, resuscitates a version of photographic aura, and thus may be seen as rehabilitating photography as an art medium. But Fried seems not to realize the ways in which the uncanny invades Demand’s oeuvre and disrupts its purchase on such foundation-stones of modernist aesthetics as aura, medium, or intentionality. Demand’s photography exceeds the terms of such modernist description, recalling rather that uncanny ‘squirming life of dead things’ which Max Kozloff described in his essay on soft sculpture. One dead thing we could see revived in his work, indeed, is the notion of ‘medium’. But the dead thing Demand’s photography revives also has to do with the way in which it works, inter-medially, upon the body of sculpture. In the airless structures of Demand’s photographs, I suggest, we see a circling back to hysterically re-stage the work of Atget, and one of the founding moments of photography’s decomposition of ‘aura’, together with its uncanny resurrection.

13. Photography Entropy and the Archive

Dr. Joanna Lowry

University College for the Creative Arts, Kent. JLOWRY@ucreative.ac.uk

The concept of the ‘archive’ has been central to theoretical reflection on the photograph, informing both Foucauldian and postmodern reflections on the formation of image culture in the 1980s and 90s. Current photographic artists’ use of archival practices suggest that the concept might have more fundamental implications for the ontology of the photographic image, shifting, as it does, the emphasis away from issues of truth and ideology towards notions of evidence and trace; away from the camera as an apparatus that looks and represents, towards a model of the camera as a mechanical recording machine producing found objects. The infinite expandability of the archive, its capacity to encompass everything, and its parallel evacuation of any intentionality from the image, signal a kind of entropy at its centre, a progressive diminution in the photograph’s capacity to produce meaning that points to a strange complicity between technology and the objective world. Projects like Richter’s ‘Atlas’, Fischli and Weiss’ ‘Visible Worlds’ or Wolfgang Tillmans’ ‘If One Thing Matters Everything Matters’ challenge how we look at a photograph when its capacity to signify has been drained away. Richter has talked about the ambivalent struggle in his work between the dumb ‘reality’ of the photograph and our urge to pull it towards the types of pictoriality and narrativity that might be found in painting. This paper argues that the reverse entropic pull of the archive towards a kind of meaninglessness and objectness is central to our understanding of photography as a medium today.

14. Depicting the Photograph

Sandra Plummer

PhD candidate, London Consortium/Birkbeck, London. sandraplummer@gmail.com

The title of this session can be taken to imply that contemporary photography (after conceptual art) can be categorised as either pictorial or conceptual. While this is generally the case, a particular genre of photography has emerged that conforms to neither category but is characterised by a concern with the photographic medium as such. The artists who produce self-referring or reflexive photographs are not compelled by the demand for a highly aestheticised pictorial image. For them the autonomy of photography (as art) has already been established. Nor can their work be seen as purely conceptual where the photograph is incidental to the idea and disregarded as a medium via its incorporation into divergent practices. Rather there is a merging of the conceptual and the pictorial where the concept is the questioning of photographic representation while the pictorial (or perceptual) element is demonstrated by a depicting of photography itself. Their work is marked by a desire to put the photograph itself in the frame. This paper examines the work of artists such as Vik Muniz, Gary Schneider and Adam Fuss who, in their deployment of the medium produce a form of meta-photography. I wish to counter Peter Osborne’s assertion that the generality of the photographic image has laid the ground for the post-medium (or transmedia) condition and instead posit the photograph as a specific medium. This paper will explore the specificity of the medium through recent photographic practice and through theoretical debates that engage with the ontology of the photograph.

15. The Shape of the Pictorial in Contemporary Photography

Prof. Dr. Hilde Van Gelder

Department of Art History, Faculty of Arts, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. hilde.vangelder@arts.kuleuven.be

Recent criticism (Michael Fried) considers certain contemporary photographic practises (Jeff Wall) as reviving a great figurative tradition in painting, namely, that of the tableau or Picture. The consequences of such a strong pictorial claim for photography are substantial. For, it is not a rare phenomenon to find that the artistic quality of current photographs is judged in the light of their willingness to meet the exigencies of the Picture (holistic composition, non-serial presentation of the image, monumental format, etc.). Some post-conceptual photographic images that manifestly do not enter the logic of the tableau have thus been dismissed as not pictorial enough. They are regarded as preparatory studies or sketches, unable to transcend their doubtful artistic status as pseudo-document (Jean-François Chevrier on Allan Sekula).

However, the synthetic Picture - whether generically (Diarmuid Costello) or more specifically regenerating (Fried) past painting - is but a renewal of one particular painterly tradition: that of an 'artificial' painting of decorum and maniera (David Freedberg). More analytic or montage-like photographic images link back to another long-standing pictorial legacy: a 'natural' or vernacular tradition. To demonstrate this, reference is made to a vivid paragone in 16th Century Southern Netherlandish art (Frans Floris versus Pieter Bruegel). The comparative example of works by Wall and Sekula shows that both approaches follow their own pictorial logic. They are different, but artistically equally relevant: they are two necessary urgencies (Benjamin Buchloh), each to be understood and judged according to their own criteria.

16. The Persistence of Realism

Professeur Jean-François Chevrier

École nationale des beaux-arts de Paris. eliapi@wanadoo.fr

Beyond the current notion of ‘post-conceptual photography,’ a few interesting artist-photographers are still working within a moving and polemical framework of Realism. This suggests that the context of post-conceptual photography should be open to a wider range of pictorial issues than is typically acknowledged, amongst which several were already at stake during the time of pre-conceptual photography. If there is indeed a ‘Realism after Conceptual Art,’ this presupposes both:

- an allegiance to the document,

- a consideration of the ‘subject,’ in both senses of that term.

I shall make this case by considering the practice of five photographers from several different countries and generations: Marina Ballo-Charmet (b. 1952, lives in Milan); Patrick Faigenbaum (b. 1954, lives in Paris); Roy Arden (b. 1957, lives in Vancouver); Ahlam Shibli (b. 1970, lives in Haifa); and Claire Tenu (b. 1983, lives in Paris). "

Source: http://www2.essex.ac.uk/arthistory/ahrc/speakers.htm

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