This coming Friday Transmitter reopen doors for the launch of Photo II, their first show for 2017 and it’s a must see. Featuring Irina Rozovsky, Eli Durst, Lindsay Metivier and Erin O’keefe, Photo II kicks off on January 6th, 6-9pm and runs through to February 12th, 2017. Don’t miss it. Visit transmitter.nyc for more info.
In the late 1970’s, when post-modernism in photography was born, two well-defined camps evolved, pitting straight (or traditional) photography against set-up (or conceptual) photography. These divisions were a point of contention. One could not only lose friends but also risk opportunities to be shown or published by identifying with one or another side. While the intensity of these disagreements might seem silly and romantic in retrospect, at a time when few galleries showed photography and publishing a book was rare, the limited opportunities to have one’s work seen heightened tensions over what might constitute a good photograph going forward.
Photography of the present faces the stark realization that these old arguments over what a photograph could or should be no longer matter. Photographic theory has devoured itself. The internet, inexpensive printing, and self-publishing have provided a venue large enough for all practices, traditional or conceptual, to exist in a pluralistic scrum of democratic viewing. This has provided a diverse generation of photographers a platform to reach large audiences who are often unaware of the medium’s historical infighting.
This digital pluralism has led to an environment in which the discussion of work no longer begins with the artist declaring their conceptual camp, but rather with the visual quality of the image. Recently, photographers have been abandoning artist’s statements, allowing viewers to perceive their images free of context, so their success or failure depends on their ability to create an engaging visual language. There is no longer an academic argument for newness or an avant-garde so much as one for quality of visual thought. Works that in the recent past would be segregated by conceptual movements now appear next to one another in an open, chaotic exchange of ideas. Traditional photographs can rest comfortably alongside abstract still lives, next to photography as installation, next to work that embraces the medium’s technical flaws. Through this beautiful disorder, the entire medium has simultaneously died and been reborn, allowing contemporary photographers to once again work out what it means to be a photographer.
Irina Rozovsky — irinar.com (Image I-II, Untitled (from Mountain Black Heart) 2015-2016, former Yugoslavia)
Eli Durst — elidurst.com (Image III-IV, Eli Durst, Bruce Spinning, 2015)
Erin O’keefe — erinokeefe.com (Image V-VI, Things as They Are #32)
Lindsay Metivier — lindsaymetivier.com (Image VII-VIII, Untitled (from No Limit on the Worlds)
Irina Rozovsky’ Mountain Black Heart features in Heavy II alongside a conversation with Ashley McNelis. Heavy II is available now in Aus bookstores and our online store right here. International release date to be announced very shortly, thank you for your patience rest of the world, it won’t be long now.