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Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Critical thought on photography in the twentieth century has encompassed arguments in the early part of the century for its acceptance as an A rt form, writings on the impact of photography upon more traditional art media, the development of a history of the medium, and recent work by writers and artists to develop a theory for the medium. Much recent work in photography draws from various currents in postmodern thought (see P ostmodernism ) in an attempt to deconstruct modernism (see M odernity ) in art, to replace the master narratives of high formalism with “the discourse of others” ( Foster, 1983 ), and to lead to the recognition of the art object (image) as a contingent entity. For those writers and artists who have produced this recent work, postmodernism can best be defined as a crisis in Western representation in which photography has played a central critical role. The influence of C ritical theory on the work of these artists and writers is crucial to understanding their projects, and many of the relevant theorists focus upon photography because of its interdisciplinary nature. The adaptability of the medium is perhaps its only governing characteristic. This is evident in the diverse uses of the medium in C ulture , art being only a small portion of its “use.” The basis for many of the questions arising in the prominent art of the 1980s drew from philosophical and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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