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Sunday, 29 April 2012

New Formalist Holes in Pictures

Following on from the Mishka Henner post, J.Wesley Brown pointed me in a few directions that he writes about in this post, connecting Henner's work to that of the New Formalists, work that questions what photography really is?

I can see the connection but think Henner's work is more about what a 2-dimensional representational picture is. It's about how we see and what we see and the relationship between the two. 

Wesley also points me in the direction of these punctured pictures by  Lisa Oppenheim and William Jones, two projects that reincarnate FSA negatives that were 'killed' with a hole punch.

"In ‘Killed Negatives, After Walker Evans’ (2007), Oppenheim uses Walker Evans’ unpublished photographs from 1938 found in the National Library of Congress. Evans was commissioned by the Farm Security Administration to document depression era rural America. These negatives are ‘killed’ because they had holes punched through them to prevent publication. Oppenheim printed them and conceptualises the holes as a space of potential contemporary interpretation."

 Punctured, Jones explained, is about the “Interface between image making and power…  what images authority gives us and what we do with them." Jones’ effort is to unsettle those relationships and to this end Punctured is articulate in its explorations of the way that archives are constructed, of the FSA archive specifically as the product of Stryker’s judgments, and of the possibility that an image, even when ostensibly rendered unusable, may still have a second life if any remnant of the image remains."

Mmmo, but is it though?

See the work here. 

More interesting circular Spaces from Broomberg and Chanarin's People in Trouble here - and I do like these because they are very different but I also wonder when saturation point is reached with dots and dead negatives. I feel my attention waning.

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