Tag Archives: Criticism

Kozloff on the Plasticity of Genre

“For some time, we’ve been breathing an atmosphere where photographic media reflect upon themselves, even as some imagists within them claim an artistic vantage outside the media. Modern art is notable for ingesting popular media, either for ironic or topical… Continue reading

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Kozloff on the Melancholy Landscape

“…the picture of nature today may testify to the damage men have done to their environment, a damage possibly so extreme as to hasten human and animal fate. With both the earlier moralizing tradition and the current instance of it,… Continue reading

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Hambourg on Photography, Memory and Sigmar Polke

“Memory digests and stores original experience in representations that are personally colored, recast by the imagination. Creativity seems to work in much the same way; it swallows its impetus in order to reconstitute it in a more consequent and permanent… Continue reading

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Kozloff on the Camera and culture

“Without asking so much as the viewer’s leave, photographers have deprogrammed the genres and tossed media in a juggle of unexpected meanings. They remind us, if only by contrast, of how often our understanding of photographs originates on the basis… Continue reading

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Duchamp on Photography

“photography is not limited to the role of copyist. It is a marvellous explorer of those aspects that our retina never records, and that, every day, inflict such cruel contradictions on the adorers of familiar visions that are so few,… Continue reading

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Wallis on Race and Typological Photography

“By supplying an overabundance of information, photography confuses and problematizes its message; it creates what author Roland Barthes calls a “reality effect,” a semblance of realism bound to detail. In nineteenth-century parlance, two technical words gained a certain currency to describe how “reality”was construed: the word daguerreotype was distinguished from the word stereotype. Stereotypes were originally molds for creating multiple copies of printing type; the word, therefore, came to connote generalized replication. The daguerreotype, on the… Continue reading

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Foster on the Primitive

“Historically, the primitive is articulated by the west in deprivative or supplemental terms: as a spectacle of savagery or as a state of grace, as a socius without writing or the Word, history or cultural complexity or as a site… Continue reading

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Rice on Secular (Consumerist) Culture

“Unlike Vodou worshippers in Haiti, we in contemporary America acknowledge no deities; we deny a pantheon of supernatural beings who determine our destinies, who have the power to “possess” our bodies or intervene in our lives. In our denial, we… Continue reading

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Steinberg against Formalism

“Given the complexity and infinite resonance of works of art, the stripping down of artistic value to the single determinant of formal organization was once—in the nineteenth century—a remarkable cultural achievement. The attempt was to discipline art criticism in the… Continue reading

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Crow on Modernism & Mass Culture

“The sign of manufactured culture is empty diversity, an eclecticism resulting from market expediency, targeting consumers, and hedging bets. Modernist practice sustains its claim to autonomy by standing in implicit opposition to the diversity of material glut, the evident shape… Continue reading

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