Category Archives: Books & Exhibitions

Theatres of the Real

Continuing with the theme of staged photography and having already crossed back across the Atlantic with a look at Alison Jackson (here) there are several other British photographers who have made, or are making their name, in this area. Theatres … Continue reading

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Alison Jackson: Private

Staged photography takes many forms but most of the work that might be loosely classified under this heading has an narrow audience. Jeff Wall’s Dead Troops Talk was sold at auction in 2012 for $3.6 million, slightly less than Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #96 which … Continue reading

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The Vivian Maier Films

There is a nearly overwhelming desire to begin this essay with “The problem with Vivian Maier” because in the six years since her death she has been mythologised as the mystery woman, the nanny photographer, an enigma, a social mis-fit and a problem … Continue reading

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Other Perspectives – Geoff Dyer

Unlike John Szarkowski, the curator (here) and Stephen Shore the photographer  and teacher (here) Geoff Dyer ‘s relationship with photography is as an outsider, he declares he doesn’t own a camera, professes no special expertise as art historian or critic … Continue reading

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Other Perspectives – Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore is not the only highly acclaimed photographer to also be a respected educator but it this combination that makes his written work especially interesting. The Nature of Photographs (1) is based on his lectures at Bard College, New York State … Continue reading

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Other Perspectives – John Szarkowski

If we restrict ourselves to the perspectives of philosophers such as Barthes, Sontag or Berger our reading of photography runs the risk of becoming formulaic where we stop looking at the photograph in our concentrated search for the signs or socio-political … Continue reading

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The Language of Photography

Introduction In 1977, thirteen years before the dawn of the digital age of photography (i), Sue Davies, the founder of the Photographers’ Gallery (2), presented Reading Photographs, an exhibition of urban photographs with the intent of “helping people to a better … Continue reading

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Zen and The Art of Photography

In his introduction to Reading Photographs (1) Ainslie Ellis calls for the audience to bring their whole creative attention to a photograph as “then, and only then, something remarkable can happen”. He argues that in a world of mass beliefs, which … Continue reading

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The History of the Shadow Self Portrait

Whilst looking for inspirational photographers who have used shadow self portraits I came across an interesting statement on the Lens Culture blog (1) regarding the work of Giacomo Brunelli in which the author suggests that the use of the shadow in self portraits is nearly … Continue reading

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Auto Focus: The Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography by Susan Bright

Susan Bright’s book (1) should be the ideal starting point for a study of self-portrait and in many ways it is but I find the artists’ work that Bright has selected to be generally rather uninspiring. As one would expect … Continue reading

Posted in 1 - Autobiographical Self-Portraiture, 2 - Masquerades, 3 - Self-Absented Portraiture, Books & Exhibitions, Research and Reflection | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments