Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera
Literary Review 1
Post-Photography as a term and a definition stand perfectly on the line between Photography and Art. The camera no longer is the rule, it instead becomes the tool in a many steps operation towards an art piece. You could even argue that it is refusing to play by traditional photographic rules stems from an anti-capitalistic nature as you will find no attention is spent on the big-name brand’s equipment in the process. It is now irrelevant to have shot the image on a Canon or Nikon body, whether it was a Manfrotto or Vivitar tripod, Elinchrome or Bowen’s lamps. The camera gets treated as an insignificant choice of brush.
Through this book, Robert Shore curates three hundred pieces of work by artists who all fall under the Post Photography umbrella. “Post-photography is a moment, not a movement” (Shore, 2014)
Shore explains. It’s the first book to truly focus on artists who celebrate the use of Photography in their work. In our age of digital production and post-production, these artists are able to use an abundance of resources to make their mark and leave their own stamp in the earth. Julia Borissova for example, collages petals on to vintage Photographs. Cristina de Middel produces an outstanding body of work finally giving imagery to the story of the 1960’s Zambian plan to take over the space race. Reality becomes a playground for these artists as digital manipulation takes full attention. Clement Valla celebrates the lost art of found photography and our digital world with postcards from google earth, denoting the flaws in it’s “perfect” nature.
Outside of digital manipulation, the book features Christy Lee Rogers, their images remind of the masters painting, beautiful attention to colours, lighting and details. Rogers explains, “My intention is to create something magical that could exist, not something that I feel people will think is fake or false” (Rogers, 2014).
The book features work by Michael Wolf, who’s famed for his images of Hong Kong, fascination with shapes and most notoriously, his works using not one camera but all of the cameras involved in producing googles street view. Some claim that it’s not photography nor his work as he is just highlighting noteworthy events on something belonging to the public space, however, the argument back is that it celebrates found photography and almost defines the Post-Photography “moment” as a whole.
In my opinion, the book perfectly records and frames this practice. I wasn’t aware of the term, definition or even the book itself until very recently and I really do wish I had found all of this earlier. Many of the images I have produced fit into this practice and so do many of my inspirations. For years I’ve refused to refer to myself as a Photographer because I just use the camera as step one in my work. During my education, I’ve struggled to find a branch of Photography and Design that I can refer back too. Fine art Photography is too vast and broad and to talk relative to music and film, far to open a genre, Digital Art is just as vague and Glitch Art is far too small a genre If I want to allow myself to grow and incorporate other techniques in later works
Shore, R. (2014). Post-photography : the artist with a camera. Laurence King Publishing.