Posts tagged ‘New Photography 2009’
Carter Mull‘s work in New Photography 2009 is full of vibrant color and patterns. Beyond the surface is a body of work that explores language, our relationship to images in an image-saturated world, and the spectre of the death of print media and chemical photography. In the following Q&A, Carter talks to me in detail about his work.
Eva Respini: How did you become interested in the Los Angeles Times as the starting point for the body of work on view in New Photography 2009?
Carter Mull: Initially, I was drawn to a question about the psychological impact of an image. Journalism and the media had been in the background of my thinking for a number of years—and I was curious about the question of how one responds to an image of distant trauma, contextualized within the framework of the local newspaper. Also, the very material—the literal placement of advertising next to news—was an intriguing reality.
ER: The title for this series is Triggers for Everyday Fiction, and you refer to these photographs as “triggers” and “responses.” I like thinking about the relationship between the pictures as a kind of call and response. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
CM: The project began about two years ago with the initial program of considering a media site, in this case the Los Angeles Times, as a point of departure. I wanted to treat the lead image of the paper as a generator of sorts—and the output of the works as a whole as somehow governed by the grammar of the idea. The terms you refer to work as a nomenclature to designate points within the body of work. At the moment, I think about the images taken together as a series of passages—and as an active cognitive process. Read more
Like many of the works in New Photography 2009, Sara VanDerBeek’s photographs are made entirely in the studio. She collects pictures from various sources, including art history books, archives, magazines, and newspapers, and incorporates them into sculptures that are made only to be photographed. After Sara photographs her sculptures, they are immediately dismantled, and her picture is the only remaining evidence of the temporary structure.
“Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed on her while unfinished; she was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” —excerpt from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Daniel Gordon‘s photographs elicit attraction and repulsion. They are irresistibly vibrant and tactile, but also surreal and grotesque. His works are not what they appear to be at first glance. They look like collages, but upon further inspection the photographs reveal themselves to be pictures of sculptures. The female figures in the photographs are cobbled together from found images on the Internet that the artist prints out and constructs into three-dimensional tableaus. The sculptures are photographed and then immediately disassembled so that the artist can use the body parts for new works. The works are made alive and exist only through the act of photography. Read more
I think it’s a really vital moment for photography right now. Over the past few years, a number of artists have re-opened the discussion on the nature of photography, investigating the materials and processes of the medium itself. Of course, this recent examination is part of a long lineage of experimentation in photography, seen in the work of artistic giants such as László Moholy-Nagy (included in MoMA’s current Bauhaus exhibition) as well as in more recent experimentation by artists such as James Welling. Walead Beshty is active in many of these discussions, as both a writer on the subject and an artist addressing the basic processes of photography. Read more
New Photography is one of my favorite shows to organize. Generally, it means working with artists of my own generation, and introducing work that I really believe in to a larger audience. New Photography is about new ideas and new ways of working, and this year’s installment of the exhibition series (which has been around since 1985) is no different. While in previous years we have highlighted work of artists that are not artistically related, this year, I decided to take a thematic approach and bring together the works of artists that participate in the lively debate on the nature of photography in the twenty-first century. This new approach to the exhibition series is an experiment, which is very much in the spirit of the work in the show. Read more