May 7, 2020

The Photographic Activity of Post-modernism – Douglas Crimp. 5 January I was relieved to find that this essay was not about. The Photographic Activity of Postmodernism . attribute to the kind of photographic activity I call postmodernist. .. Douglas Crimp, “Pictures,” October, no. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use, available at.

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For Levine’s autobiographical statementis onlya stringofquotations pilferedfromothers;and ifwe mightthink thisa strangeway of writingabout one’s own workingmethods,thenperhapswe should turnto thework it describes. By some means or other which is not clear to me Crimp defines the presence third time as a quality by example that is expressed by an individual, quoting Laurie Anderson as an example I think he failed, I did not understand.

Mortified, hurt,horror- struck,I had thehatefulsensationof having placed myselfblindlyand completely in unworthyhands. They suggestthatRoland Barthes’sdescriptionof the tenseof photographyas the “having been there”be interpreted in a new way. It would seem,though,thatifthewitheringaway of theaura is an inevitable factof our time,thenequally inevitableare all thoseprojectsto recuperateit, to pretendthat theoriginal and theunique are still possible and desirable.

The Photographic Activity of Post-modernism – Douglas Crimp

From themultiplicationofsilkscreenedphotographicimagesin theworks of Rauschenbergand Warhol to theindustriallymanufactured,repeti- tivelystructuredworks of the minimal sculptors,everythingin radical artistic practiceseemed to conspire in thatliquidation of traditionalculturalvalues that 3. The extraordinarypresenceof theirworkis effected throughabsence,throughitsunbridgeabledistancefromthe original,fromeven thepossibilityof an original.

I love to imagine what it must have been like to see photographs for the first time — the magic those early examples must have looked like, i. What I wanted to explain was how to get fromthisconditionof presence-the being therenecessitatedbyperformance-to thatkind of presencethatis possible only throughtheabsence postmodrnism know to be theconditionofrepresentation.

Notify me of new comments via email. I find that this helps me to get a fair understanding of the essay by re-reading and re-writing. And how do we know the authenticfromits reproduction?


I realize of course thatin raising thequestion of subjectivityI am reviving thecentraldebatein photography’saesthetichistory,thatbetweenthestraightand themanipulated pstmodernism the many variationson thattheme.

It was, of course,Westonhimselfwho said that “the photographmustbe visualized in full beforetheexposure is made. The quotation, takenfromone of theghosttales of Henry James, was a false postmodfrnism played on the double, indeed antithetical,meaning of the word presence: I wroteat thattimethattheaestheticmode that was exemplaryduring the seventieswas photogaphic those works that wereconstitutedin a specificsituationand fora specificduration;worksforwhich it douglaas be said literallythatyou had to be there;works,thatis, whichassumed the presence of a spectatorin frontof the work as the work took place, actifity privilegingthe spectatorinstead of the artist.

But I do so herein orderto point out thattherecuperationof theaura forphotographywould in fact subsume under the banner of subjectivityall of photography,the photography whose source is thehuman mind and thephotographywhose source is theworld around us, the most thoroughlymanipulatedphotographicfictionsand themost faithfultranscriptions of thereal, thedirectorialand thedocumentary,themirrors and the windows, Camera Work in its infancy,Life in its heyday.

But how is it thatphotographyhas suddenlyhad conferredupon itan aura? It is only in theabsence of theoriginal thatrepresentation may takeplace. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: And ifwe thinkof Laurie Andersonin thisway,it mayseema bit odd, because Laurie Anderson’sparticularpresenceis effected throughtheuse of reproductivetechnologieswhich reallymake herquite absent,or only thereas the kind of presencethatHenryJamesmeantwhen he said, “The presencebeforehim was a presence.

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The key words here seem to be representation and appropriation. In this example I have begun to remove the artificial grass that the footballers are playing on.

Previous Post reading about postmodernism. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: And thisfantasyof freedomcan be maintained because everywork of art is held to be absolutely unique and original. Benjamin did not lament the loss of the aura and cited Eugene Atget as a proponent of the removal of the aura by the style of photography that he adopted.


The Photographic Activity of Post-modernism – Douglas Crimp – OCA Photography 3 “Body of Work”

The notion that any representation of anything in the world gives it an artistic status. To authenticatephotography requires all the machineryof art history and museology,with a fewadditions,and more than a fewsleightsofhand.

For themuseum has no truckwithfakesor copies or reproductions. However, the print quality is not the only aspect of the photograph worth considering, there is also the record of an unrepeatable moment in time. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Mary KellyPhaidon,London: Benjamin, “Work of Art,”p.

And because the museum is that institutionwhich was foundedupon just thosevalues,whose job it is to sustainthosevalues,it has faced a crisis of considerableproportions.

Finally Crimp suggest that aura has been replaced by presence — i. Postmodernnism the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Revisionistart historysoon began to be vindicatedby “revelations”of the achievementsof academic artists and minor figuresof all kinds.

When Crimp writes about the pluralism of originals and the plurality or actlvity of copies, is this an acknowledgement of the value of mechanical reproduction?

The pose of authorshipis dispensedwithnot only throughthemechanicalmeans of making the image, but throughthe effacement of any continuous, essential persona or even recognizablevisage in the scenes depicted. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: