Thursday, November 4, 2010

Later photographers

Man Ray

Noir et Blanche - first exhibited in 291, and was inspired by African Art. Experiments with the picture - bulding off something like the pictorialists to the point of taking it apart. Shows us the blowout negative. Considered strange. Associated with surrealists. Taking things that were ordinary and showing us the strangeness of these things. Challenging the ordinariness of the photogrpah

Anatomies - Transformed into something else. Shows the womans head leaning back to show repressed urges. Tilted head looks like a penis head. Experiment with technique and subject matter. Morphing is important. Not so different from Dali's Metamorphosis

Minotaur - Female body turns into monster, interest in myth, title of another surrealist image. Like pictorialism it shares an interest in light

Chance Encounter,.... - 

Portrait of Meret Opperheim - Experiments with sunjects in strange places. Paint across arm that is not shadow. But in contrast to real shadows. Illusions to rela things. Deliberately suggestive - looking for poetic metaphor. Interest in solarization.(light onto -ve)  

Belle Haleine - Fashion photographer. Dopcuments other surrealists - Duchamp's work. Challenge to authorship. 

Rayograph - Experiments of actual objects onto the printing paper as it is developing. Claims that it is "by chance". Surrealist enigma at play 

Rayograph 1925 - What is it? "Throw your camera away if you want to make photographs" It is not the machine and even if you use the machine - it is not the art. Before and after shot is where the art lies. Way of making claims for photography as art

Paul Strand: 

Drawn to Steiglitz ideas and his ideas. Steiglitz becomes mroe experimental - begins to move away from pictorialsim. Tries ot be more modernist. Advises Strand to try and find a way to do photography that connects to cubism or surrealism 

Wall Street : People look like little bugs put against a monumental structure. Not entirely decipherable (connections to cubism and surrealism) Shapes that dominate the composition - emphasis on straight planes and overlapping planes in an effort to reveal a modern tension between man and industry. Alienation

Steiglitz - Equivalen( 1929, 1930)t: Pushes abstraction through close-ups, magnifiying or a crop. Took photograph of the cloud from the ground. Become unrecognizable. Other art is also more abstract. But there is a connection - where is there up or down. Confusion of up and down in abstract art is addressed here. Similar to monochromes. 

Edward Weston 

Worked in Cali as a portrait photographer - was successful - reads about Steiglitz and goes to New York.On his drive across the country he stops in numerous towns and takes pictures that are not pictorial. Uses sharp-focus. 1922, meets Steiglitz and shows his pcitures. 

Combination of sharp photography and pictorialists ideas become his own look. Isolates a subject to its simplified, semi-abstract form. Marks the distinctive break in Abstract. 

Pepper # 30 - Compare to Weston's Nude. Maginified to the point of abstraction. 

Nude: What lies beyond subject and form. Looks for "a kind of life-force". Idea from Bergson. Searching for some pure essence of existence. Heavy task 

Cabbage Leaf - Close to a surrealist image. See parts/fragments as universal symbols that (for him) were interchangable. Symbols of life-force. Reduced subject to their fundamental structure. 

Excusado - Toilet - concept of pre-visualisation. The important moment is before you take the photograph when you visualise what will be on the glass. What qualities and values are you looking for? Tight compositions, exclusion of non-essentials. "Subject matter is not important. Instead what the photographer brings to it" 
By magnifying things finds something elemental in it. "Elegant accessory of human heygine" Toilet echoes lines of body. Even the greeks did not reach this level fo sensuality as we did in modernity. 

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