V. Photography versus Contemporary Art: What’s Next?

We have reviewed several aspects of the highly competitive—even love/hate—relationship between contemporary art and photography. Is there anything left to say? Perhaps something about the future of both. They will hardly be able to avoid each other. Read More »

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IV. Photographers versus Contemporary Artists: Whose Crisis Is Deeper?

Photography and contemporary art are engaged in an entangled relationship with unresolved issues of power. Essentially, photography is one of art’s media, while art is one of photography’s applications. Exactly this is immersing both in an endless chicken-versus-egg causality dispute. Indeed, even if photography is obviously younger than art as such, contemporary art might still be younger than photography—it depends on what we define as the former’s beginning. Read More »

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III. Photography versus Contemporary Art: The Case of the Lecture Performance

There is less and less photography (and photographers) in contemporary art exhibitions, but more and more photographs. The photograph is a lens through which we see the contemporary world, which comes to us always already reproduced. Almost every static image we see these days is technically a photograph, since even art critics rarely cross paths with original paintings. In a contemporary art context, photographs abound in “research installations” and archival displays of all sorts; they are shown as a sequence of slides; they appear as stills in films. But recently, they have even begun to star in performances—for instance, in the increasingly popular genre of “lecture performance.” Read More »

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II. Photographs versus Contemporary Art: Beyond the Pleasure Principle

I must apologize for the rather long silence, during which I have been traveling, meeting lots of people, while almost constantly in public, which has made it difficult to think, let alone to write. Actually, if I were producing a series of photographs rather than a blog, it would have been easy. I could have made thousands of them (even taking a selfie while giving a public speech—why not, it might have been considered cute!) and indeed post them on Instagram, as mentioned by my co-blogger Casey Smallwood, taking part in the “casual” art production so characteristic of our times. Read More »

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I. Photographers versus Artists: A Colonial Story?

In this blog, I will explore—in a necessarily fragmented way—some of the paradoxes inherent to the complex relations between photography and so-called contemporary art, as seen through the eyes of a curator, a writer, and, in the first place, a teacher, since for almost a decade I have been teaching at a school that educates both photographers and artists. Just as an aside: The Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia is a small postgraduate or, rather, alternative art school—set in a country where professional art education still produces mainly nineteenth-century-like academic painters, and photography is being taught widely, but in its purely commercial iteration. Read More »

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6. On Digital and Analogue Books and a Possible Scenario for the Future

(I will take the liberty here to describe my wildest fantasies).

Lorenzo Rocha and Andreas Langen in their discussion on September 24 and 25 raised an interesting point that I want to reflect on.

What could be the new medium for digital images? Do digital images need analogue manufactured books as a presentation medium, or something different or new? Read More »

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5. A Portuguese Interception

Our journey has brought us from the end of the Roman world (Cape Finisterre) over Santiago de Compostela to Portugal. In Santiago we saw an impressive and interesting group exhibition called On the Road in the restored Bishop’s Palace (Palaco de Xelmirez and Iglesia de Bonaval) next to the cathedral. An ambitious project of the Galician Tourist Board and local administration and yet another example of how contemporary art and photography can be shown in very old buildings (Romanesque architecture of the 12th century).

OntheRoad_santiago

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4. Distribution and Money, the Frankfurt Book Fair and the PhotoBookMuseum, Cologne

This may be a slightly boring entry, but I thought it would be worthwhile to explain why, in most cases, artists or photographers must supply the publisher with money to produce their book.

As I write this, I am sitting in Sobrado dos Monxes, next to one of the stranger and more beautiful churches near the Camino Real (or Camino de Santiago), only 60 km away from Santiago de Compostela, and far away from the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is currently running until Sunday, October 12.

Pilgrims arriving at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Pilgrims arriving at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

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