Lecture 5-Additional reading notes.

These notes are based from the readings in Mary Warner Marien’s book Photography: A Cultural History.

  • Jean-Francois Leotard wrote The Postmodern Condition in 1979,which placed Postmodernism as the next phase of Modernism.
  • In art Postmodernism was in short a rejection of the ideals of Modernism, an anti-movement, against techniques such as abstraction.
  • Photographers started to conform to Postmodernism and created pictures that were blurry, but with a hint of form.
  • Sherrie Levine was a well known photographer to follow Postmodernism.
  • She was greatly criticised when she produced a body of work that simply rephotographed the work of Walker Evans, and Edward Weston. She called this ‘Appropriation’.
  • This caught on with other artists who started to copy famous works by cutting, cropping and rearranging images in magazines to create a copy of the original.
  • Cindy Sherman was another well known photographer during the movement.
  • She concentrated on self portraiture, portraying herself as troubled heroines from films, without ever referencing the films.
  • During the 1970s more and more artists whose work was predominately in other mediums started using the camera.
  • Cindy Sherman was a big supporter of this movement, with artists aims to critique the notion of personal expression.
  • It was intended to expose the illusions of individuality and originality that defended the art market.
  • The Postmodern era gave the blurred image a new lease of life.
  • Of course it was nothing new in photography terms, having been used by the early pictorialists.
  • Artists such as Gerhard Richter, James Welling, and Uta Barth, were big components of the blurred image. Richter used paint as he mediums, and blurred the image by dragging a squeegee across the surface of the paint whilst still wet.
  • Feminism became a large part of the Postmodernist movement. Women, starting coming to the forefront, showcasing women comfortable in their bodies and equal with Men.
  • Cindy Sherman was once again at the forefront, along withJudy Dater, and Anne Tucker.
  • The other thing highly associated with Postmodernism is the construction of the image, or to be more precise, a constructed reality. Photographers and artists started creating these imaginative pieces of work, and possibly the most famous of all was Gregory Crewdson, who created large scale pieces of work based on his imagination of life in small towns. He used large crews, and heavily post processes the final image  to create the effect of a film still.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: