'Concrete canvas' exhibition on altfotonet

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First impressions of the concrete canvas issue (or online exhibition?) indicates  that none of the images selected  by the curator include fragments of a figure or a text.  So these pictures  remain within  modernist  boundaries in terms of their photographic ethos or comportment. The majority of the pictures are abstractions that work within what could be loosely called abstract expressionism,  whilst a few are minimalist. 

As such, the pictures cannot be considered as the avant garde overturning tradition,  since abstraction in the visual arts belongs to an era that is passing from living memory  into history. It  is becoming tradition, albeit a powerful one with a lot of life in it, especially  in art photography. Or may this  online exhibition represents a revival of abstraction that resists the assault of the avant garde, since abstraction in the visual arts continues to have a lot of institutional and cultural power. 

One description that comes to mind in looking at the pictures  is that they are photo poetry. Many of the pictures are very poetic in terms of their expression and force.  Therein lies their fascination and their seductive power.

Of course, this raises the question: 'what is poetized photography'?  I  don't really have much of an idea other to point to the liquid, flowing quality of the pictures---their nonverbal, improvisational musical quality  or force if you like--that refers to the more hidden aspects of everyday life.  It is not the art photographer's job to make normal comforting images given that we live in the world of images of  an aestheticized consumer culture.'

Poetic photography is a practice that leaps over gaps, makes connections that one really does not normally  make using a conventional visual vocabulary. So the photographers make these jumps,  and in jumping over these gaps, are able  to reconnect insights and make them once again alive for us. They take themselves outside of the  normal  or everyday focus of their experience, and  enter  into this other more embodied world,

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Sauer-Thompson published on February 2, 2009 8:26 AM.

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