This is an archive of online material, physical books and artists that I've researched while conducting Contextual Studies Part 1, compiled in one place.
Howells introduces the relationship between photography and reality. He does so in an easy to comprehend manner which I found conducive for understanding the essay. Firstly he describes the invention of photography and its formative years. This was information I’d largely heard about before but it does inform the rest of the essay going forwards. However, for me where the essay gets really interesting is Howells mentioning the arguments of Roger Scruton with his assertions that photography could not be considered an art form like painting could.
The image is something of an enigma for me with regards to meaning and, according to Barthes (1964), this mystery can be seen from two fronts. Firstly, linguists say that compared to language, the image is fairly simplistic: ‘the image is an extremely rudimentary system in comparison with language’ - (Barthes, 1964). Secondly, ‘those who think that signification cannot exhaust the image’s ineffable richness.’ - (Barthes, 1964). I would put Vilém Flusser in this second category who talks of the ‘magic’ of images recurring infinitely: ‘the image is none other than the world of magic, a world in which everything is repeated and in which everything participates in a significant context.’ - (Flusser, 1983).
Postmodernism has been a slippery concept for me to grasp in the past. By reading ‘The Photographic Activity of Postmodernism’ by Douglas Crimp (1993), I aim to get a better grasp of it and to relate it back to my own work if applicable.
I found this essay quite challenging to read but after reading through approximately three times I found I grasped a lot of the concepts. This made for a rewarding experience and made me think hard concerning the original art work's (and indeed the photograph's) authenticity.