Role of Photography's Characteristics in Concept-based Photography Since 1960
Presented In: Question on Biennial :An Academic Discussion on 13th Iranian Biennial of Photography, Academy of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran 2/27/2015
Abstract: Since the rise of conceptual art in 60s, photography has become a powerful tool for artists to create thought provoking works due to the medium specific characteristics which can directly refer to contemporary world issues. In this lecture, by reviewing some of the most notable artworks using photographs created through last forty years, I discuss the relationship between the usage of photography by conceptual artists and the role of the medium in art at that time.
In 60s and 70s, conceptual artists such as Ed Rusha and John Baldesari employed the medium’s non-aesthetic quality in order to reject visual pleasurability of the art object and its mechanical procedure to question the labor of artist. Moreover, land and performance artists utilize photography to document their temporal activities. As world became saturated with images in 80s, “Pictures Generation” artists such as Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince appropriated the language of media photography in an anti-aesthetic manner to reveal images impacts upon our understanding of the world. In 90s, large scale photography found its way in art-market and thus, artists approached the medium aesthetically while critically posing questions about uneasy relationship between reality and photographs, Jeff Wall’s tableaux pictures being a great example of this style. With the flourish of World Wide Web and de-materialization of photographs in 21st century, artists have turned their attention toward how this dramatic change in image production has led to new ways of experiencing the world.
Podcast (in Farsi)