ARTnews continues the discussion…
Here’s the lead in: “Working everywhere from Photoshop to the woodshop, a growing number of photographers shoot, appropriate, manipulate, print, paint and sculpt their works, making objects that stretch the traditional definition of the medium.”
Robertson notes that there is a definite shift back into the studio for many photographers. That venue allows them to employ controlled approaches to using photography to make art. This insight is vital to our continued understanding and discussion of where photography is headed and where Maine’s photography community fits. There is no going back. The discussions of “true photography” are a thing of the past and I imagine the fairly recent proponents of “chemical darkroom photography, not digital darkroom is the real thing” will be looked at sadly as quite crazy should they bring that up now.
“[Sam] Falls is part of a growing contingent of studio-based photographers who have little interest in traditional distinctions between mediums and genres.” says Robertson. She goes on to say that Photoshop, chemical darkroom, a variety of cameras, found imagery and and endless array of materials (wood, fabric, etc.) are employed, and quotes Eva Respini, associate curator in the department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art as saying:”They’re asking, What does it mean to see the world through a lens?” Respini curated MOMA’s “New Photoghraphy 2009″ and based her selection of work exhibited on artists who are “collecting, assembling, manipulating materials.”
Tina Kukielski, former senior curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum says “I don’t think artists today are asking themselves, Am I a photographer? Am I a sculptor?”
Robertson says with photography becoming mainstream in the arts, it is being blended into all other art forms. In my previous blog posting on this topic, I quoted Philip Gefter as saying, “Photography is suffering from boundary confusion. Just when photography has finally settled into its own…museums are conceptualizing an all-purpose mash up of contemporary art-making. How does it define itself as a medium apart just as other art-making practices try to claim a piece of it?” Now that the hard-won fight to have fine art photography accepted as an art form as valid as say, painting, is behind us, it is losing its distinction as artists of all media incorporate photography into their work and fine art photographers incorporate all media into theirs.
So, what’s happening out there in Maine? Step forward, those of you who are blurring or erasing altogether the lines between photography and other media and let us know what you are doing. Send me your work and let me post it here and share it with the fine art photography community. Silence is not golden – it just keeps us all in the dark – so let’s continue the discussion.