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HomeContentsThemes > Conceptual


929.01   Conceptual photography
Questions of identity
929.02   Helmar Lerski: Portraits
929.03   Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills
929.04   Samuel Fosso: Self portraits
929.05   Lucas Samaras: Unpentant Ego
929.06   Gillian Wearing: Album (2003)
929.07   Nikki S. Lee: Projects
929.08   Sophie Calle: The intimacy of human behaviour
Politcs and the message
929.09   The relationships between photographs and text
Appropriation and originality
929.10   Introduction to appropriation
929.11   Andy Warhol: Appropriation
929.12   Sherrie Levine: Appropriation
929.13   Richard Prince: Appropriation
929.14   Robert Heinecken: Appropriation
Juxtaposing realities
929.15   Martha Rosler: Bringing the War Home
929.16   William Laven: War Models
929.17   John Divola: Evidence of Aggression - From Continuity
Examinations of photohistory
929.18   James Welling: Conceptual photography
929.19   Duane Michels: The Spirit Leaves the Body (1968)
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated. 
Status: Collect > Document > Analyse > Improve
929.01   Art >  Conceptual photography 
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Conceptual photography as a part of conceptual art[1] is a photography genre in which the artist makes a photograph of a concept or idea. Usually the conception of the idea precedes the realization of the photograph. The practitioners of this approach are sometimes called photoconceptualists.
Widely used in advertising and commercial photography the most successful images are immediately understandable. The use of an impoverished African child in a television advertisement is shown to represent a wider issue of underdevelopment and it ignores the complexity both at the individual level and the socio-political. It can be argued that images are, on occasion, cynically used to promote an issue at the most basic of human level - empathy. Image stock libraries have whole sections dedicated to getting across concepts to an audience.  
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Promoting issue awareness and advertising through association 
Within photography there have been periods when symbolic elements were used such as the glass globes included in Pictorialist photographs by Clarence H. White, Gertrude Käsebier, Baron Adolph de Meyer, Edward Steichen and Anne Brigman. The exact meaning they were seeking to elucidate other than symbolic purity is difficult to determine.[2]  
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Glass globes and the Pictorialists 
Within conceptual art and conceptual photography the same motivations apply and it is about the use of images to transmit an idea to the viewer. In some cases the artists is documenting a performance. In the "Untitled Film Stills" series by Cindy Sherman she placed herself within scenes reminiscent of 1940s and 50s film noir. The 69 black and white photographs in the series made between 1977 and 1980 question the nature of cinema, film stills, scenic reality, gender stereotypes and what a portrait is expected to be all in a single frame.[3]  
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Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills 
With Sherrie Levine[4] her appropriations of the work of Walker Evans was provocative and critics rose up to defend her work and attack it. Some of her photographs were direct copies of photographs taken from books where she gave them new titles - such as "After Walker Evans". One commonly held way to view these is with a knee-jerk reaction that it has no originality but this may be confusing the physical object which is a copy with the underlying idea (the "concept") which questions the nature of originality and why works should be included in a canon of famous photographers who produce iconic images. It is the questions raised that are important and the intentions behind them rather than the artworks themselves.  
Sherrie Levine: After Walker Evans 
Questions of identity 
929.02   Art >  Helmar Lerski: Portraits 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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If August Sander was demonstrating that a typology of citizens could be created in his Citizens of the Twentieth Century (Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts)[5] Helmar Lerski (1871-1956) showed that the apparent role of a person could be altered through the way a photograph was taken and a person could have multiple roles.
Helmar Lerski started as a banker and then became an actor and cinematographer. He took up photography when he was 39 and his striking portrait style, using a harsh and at time unflattering light, was well respected. He was involved in special effects for the film industry working on masterpieces like Fritz Lang's Metropolis and he was cinematographer on over 40 films.[6] At the Film und Foto (FiFo)[7] exhibition in Stuttgart in 1929 his photographs were well represented with 15 showing. He saw the potential of using sophisticated lighting for portraits and his 1931 book Köpfe des Alltags[8] took ordinary people from Berlin and through the use of titles gave them roles - he demonstrated that the viewers perception of the sitter could be radically influenced by the lighting and title.
In his "Metamorphosis through light" series he pushed this idea to the extreme by taking over 140 close-up portraits of a single person, Leo Uschatz,[9] using as many as 16 mirrors and a number of filters. The result was a study in the variations of a single person through photography and a clear demonstration that the lens does not have to be objective. Attempts to publish "Metamorphosis through light" failed during his lifetime and it was only in 1982 that it was published.[10] 
929.03   Art >  Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The most famous of these self explorations is the American photographer Cindy Sherman (1954-) who has turned her entire life into a search for different personas.[11] 
929.04   Art >  Samuel Fosso: Self portraits 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Samuel Fosso in the Central African Republic took a number of self portraits in different outfits from 1976 onwards.[12] When this work was seen in 1993 by the French photographer Bernard Descamps as he collected material for an exhibition on African photography it burst upon the art world with a storm. In his Tati series Samuel Fosso adorned himself to become a golfer, a biker, a lifeguard, and many others - an ironic look at the west with an African vision. His more recent color work continues the whimsical theme with tongue in cheek self-portraits including the wonderful satire The Chief who Sold Africa to the Colonialists.
Samuel Fosso said in a 2011 interview that his self-portraits were a spinoff from his photographic business:
I started taking self-portraits simply to use up spare film; people wanted their photographs the next day, even if the roll wasn't finished, and I didn't like waste. The idea was to send some pictures to my mother in Nigeria, to show her I was all right.
Then I saw the possibilities. I started trying different costumes, poses, backdrops. It began as a way of seeing myself grow up, and slowly it became a personal history – as well as art, I suppose.[13]
929.05   Art >  Lucas Samaras: Unpentant Ego 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The Auto-Poloroid series[14] by Lucas Samaras taken between 1968-1971 are of this type - his contorted face stares out threateningly from beneath cheap wigs. It seems that most of the artistic works by the prolific Lucas Samaras are dealing with the portrayal of his own body and personality - the title of his 2003 book Unrepentant Ego: The Self Portraits of Lucas Samaras clearly states this obsession.[15] 
929.06   Art >  Gillian Wearing: Album (2003) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Gillian Wearing (1963-) examines her own family by being photographed as the different members (sister, brother, father, uncle etc) in her 2003 series Album.The make up and clothing are remarkable and misleading - the viewer has to question which is the real self-portrait and what a self-portrait means. These examples are from her 2003 Album in which she explores her family through a series of self-portraits. 
929.07   Art >  Nikki S. Lee: Projects 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Korean-born performance artist Nikki S. Lee in her book Projects does far more than change costumes and make-up - she lives with a different group of people for a period and becomes one of them.[16] Each role she takes on becomes an involved portrayal of the community rather than a single camera shot taken to complete a series. Some of the many roles she has taken include drag queen, Hispanic, hip-hop, lesbian, tourist, yuppie, trailer-park dweller, skateboarder, senior citizen, exotic dancer and a street kid. 
929.08   Art >  Sophie Calle: The intimacy of human behaviour 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The work of conceptual artist Sophie Calle is profound intimate and disturbing. It pushes the boundaries of privacy and includes elements that can only be described as voyeurism showing that each of us has many layered lives where we leave ephemeral traces. Sophie Calle confronts her own privacy by having a private detective tail and photograph her,[17] by using the found address book of a man she didn't know as the start for an exploration of his life,[18] and by getting a job in a hotel in Venice to study what clients left in their rooms.[19] Each project is an exploration of her own life or the lives of strangers. 
Politcs and the message 
929.09   Art >  The relationships between photographs and text 
American conceptual artist Sarah Charlesworth (1947-2013)[20] in 1978 made a series of 27 black and white prints the same size as the Vatican world newspaper for her work Osservatore Romano, March 17- May 10, 1978. Each print was a reproduction of the front pages from the day former Italian prime minister and president of Christian Democracy (Democrazia Cristiana) party Aldo Moro was kidnapped through to his eventual assasination 27 days later.[21] On the first issue and the last there is a stock photograph of Aldo Moro but nothing on the other days that included photographs of the Pope and crowds of worshippers.[22]|
The French newspaper Libération on the 14th November 2013 was published with no photographs accompanying the articles and at the end of the newspaper they were printed without the articles.[23] This was done to coincide with the first day of Paris Photo, the most significant of the trade fairs dedicated to collecting photography, but it was far from an advertising stunt.
So there have been newspapers without text and newspapers without photographs. The two events have different motivations but they can serve as a starting point for a discussion. 
Appropriation and originality 
929.10   Art >  Introduction to appropriation 
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Appropriation within photography, and more generally within art, is the re-use of pre-existing images create new images with little or no change. A key point here is the photographer has recontextualized the original image and the "new" version of the image carries with it distinct messages.
The "Readymades" of Marcel Duchamp such as the urinal, Fountain by R. Mutt (1917), is the most notorious example.[24] A ceramic plumbing fixture when moved from the toilet into an exhibition space is no longer what it appears. When the locality changes so does the purpose and the physically of the object carries with it associations we can not avoid. It is the way we engage with our emotional responses and understanding of meaning that is a part of the art.
Duchamp argued:
An ordinary object [could be] elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.[25]
There are innumerable examples of this within the history of photography for example the photographs of vernacular signage by Walker Evans document hand-painted commercial signs for Dry Cleaning or Shine adverting a shoeshine in the American South. In the original locations this signs promote a service which may or may not be of utility to those that see it. When shown a photograph of the same sign there is no access to the service and therefore the message of the photograph is different and raises questions of nostalgia, vernacular design, folk art, southern style and the documentation of a passing age. Although the original sign and the photograph show essentially the same visual elements the viewer sees them differently because of the context of the viewing.
The appropriation of artistic motives within photography is common with Yasumasa Morimura's self-portraits based upon famous paintings by Van Gogh, Manet, Rembrandt, Goya and Frida Kahlo.[26] By the 1960s and 70s Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Robert Heinecken were all using appropriated imagery from popular culture for their collages, silkscreened images and photographs. The repurposing of imagery can be contentious as in the legal case over Patrick Cariou's Rasta photographs and Richard Prince's Canal Zone series but appropriation falls within a fair-use defense within America for the purposes of art.[27]
More complex and confused issues are arising due to the proliferation of images, access to vast archives of images being disposed of by news organisations as newspapers close down and improved access to publishing. The increasing awareness of imagery with camera phones and the social media frameworks for sharing the images such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest and a host of others has led to ever expanding visual taxonomies where any topic has it's own collectors. The distinctions between collector, curator and artist become blurred as some appropriated images are left just as they are whilst others provide structure through sequencing and editorial choices, still others alter the images to create their own artistic works.
Although there have been conceptual artists such as Sherrie Levine, John Baldessari, Hans-Peter Feldman, Joachim Schmid[28] and John Stezaker who have appropriated pre-existing images for their own art. The intention of the artist, and the rationalization of the intent by the art world, creates levels of ambiguity. For example if a person brings together a series of primary pre-existing images how should that selection and sequencing be interpreted?[29] If they are an artist does it automatically become an artwork created by appropriation? If they have a different occupation or intent is it no longer art?[30] 
929.11   Art >  Andy Warhol: Appropriation 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Andy Warhol was a print maker, sculptor, painter, photographer, media artist and an understander of celebrity who fundamentally changed the nature of American art.[31] The impact of his work is addressed by the Andy Warhol Museum[32] in Puttsburgh and his interests in promoting the arts in the Andy Warhol Foundation.[33] 
929.12   Art >  Sherrie Levine: Appropriation 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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In the late 1970s Sherrie Levine[34] made photographic copies of book illustrations of photographs by Walker Evans, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter and Alexander Rodchenko and added new titles such as "After Walker Evans (by Sherrie Levine)."[35] In the use of Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographs by Walker Evans Levine had not altered the visual image but had transformed its meaning through appropriation to raise issues of creativity, reproduction processes, the canon of photographic history and the context of viewing. As Levine said:
“The pictures I make are really ghosts of ghosts: their relationship to the original images is tertiary, i.e., three or four times removed."[36]
929.13   Art >  Richard Prince: Appropriation 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Richard Prince worked a tear sheet department taking sections out of magazines - the remaining advertising material was the cultural waste at the end of the day that nobody wanted rather like used dental floss. Prince has for years explored the relationship between how culture is imagined through adverts and how the images, frequently unaltered, can be copied and shown in a different context. His Cowboy series based on work by Sam Abell and his Canal Zone series based on photographs by Patrick Cariou have led to controversy and questions related to fair use and copyright - in legal cases his transformative use for artistic purposes has been vindicated.
The role of copying and appropriation came up in an interview he gave:
Karen Rosenberg: What do you think of younger artists under your influence, people like Kelley Walker and Wade Guyton?
Richard Prince: It would be strange for me to think I’m being ripped off, because that’s what I do! In those days, it was called “pirating.” Now they call it “sampling.” There’s a guy on the street who paints copies of my “Nurse” paintings, along with Elizabeth Peytons and Eric Fischls. I think it’s funny. I actually bought one; I thought it was pretty close.[37]
929.14   Art >  Robert Heinecken: Appropriation 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Stephen K. Lehmer interviewed Robert Heinecken in 1996 as part of the Oral History Program at ULCA:
Lehmer: What were you doing?
Heinecken: I was using as subject matter public images but with no theory, no quotations, no appropriation. These are all terms-- Appropriation, actually, in my understanding-- I forget what I was reading, but there were five or six critics in New York who sat down, in a sense, and invented this word to represent what it was that they were interested in or talking about.[38]
Juxtaposing realities 
929.15   Art >  Martha Rosler: Bringing the War Home 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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During the Vietnam War (1961-1975) Martha Rosler recognised the disconnect between a cozy existence on the home front in America and the brutality of the war taking place. On the pages of LIFE magazine she saw this in a tangible form. Here one could see commercial advertising cutting through the photo-essays that depicted in stark detail the reality of the news. By cutting photographs out of the magazine and creating photomontages the two worlds interacted - GIs could be seen in a Red Stripe Kitchen (1967-1972) and a naked woman posed in front of Vietnamese civilians being watched by GIs in Playboy (On View) (1967-1972).
By merging images from supposedly distinct contexts Rosler showed how spurious the separation between them is. The economics of the one world impact politics and military ramifications are a result of that - with no separation. 
929.16   Art >  William Laven: War Models 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Slideshow (Be patient as this has 21 slides to load.) 
William Laven took a novel approach to the Iraq War (2003-2011) with his series War Models. This was not the world of embedded photojournalism accompanying marines as they thought through the deserts of Iraq on a quest for non-existant chemical weapons. It was a seemingly detached of viewing the aircraft used as toys. As William Laven said in 2006:
War Models is a series of photographs of unassembled model airplane kits of aircraft flown in the Iraq War.
Forty aircraft types have been flown in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This includes 30 types of airplanes -- fighters, troop transporters, aerial tankers, and reconnaissance planes -- eight types of helicopters and two kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), one armed with missiles, the other with cameras.
Of the forty aircraft flown, model kits are made of twenty-one. The prints are scaled in proportion to the actual aircraft; each image is 1/50 the size of the actual aircraft. The AV-8 Harrier, for example, is small enough that two could squeeze into the typical San Francisco house lot, while two B-52 Stratofortress bombers would overcrowd a football field. The AV-8 weighs 14,000 pounds; the B-52 carries five times that weight in bombs alone. These images of children’s toys touch on the American fascination with symbols of power and acknowledge the complex relationship to the destructive power of the actual aircraft. [39]
The parts of models of airplanes are shown thus removing us one step from the planes themselves. Here we are in the domain of boys and the men who retain the hobbies of childhood and a fascination with minute details. The accuracy of the models is an important part of this and satisfaction resides in the skill to craft as accurate a model as possible. But the model is not just a model it is a representation of an oject and the function of the object is reconnaisance, air support, bombing and the destruction of people, buildings and targets. The destructive force of these planes is impressive and a part of "shock and awe". Photographs take us one step further away from the destruction the planes create and encourage us to question the nature of power in a time of conflict. 
929.17   Art >  John Divola: Evidence of Aggression - From Continuity 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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California-based photographer John Divola selected continuity stills from Warner Brother's movies to examine themes.[40] Each of the scenes has been staged and the continuity photograph retains a record to ensure the correct placement of objects and the decoration prior to a retake or a movement of the movie camera position. Usually continuity stills are retained in the archives of film companies or discarded on the completion of a film but John Divola in his series "Evidence of Aggression" shows the upturned desk, broken chairs, scattered papers and off-kilter framed pictures which become in themselves stereotypes of film violence. These are fabricated realities were taken to reduce the possibility of jarring disruptions in the flow of films that would take the viewer out of the cinematic illusion. Compared to photographs of actual Paris crime scenes[41] taken between 1901 and 1908 and attributed to Alphonse Bertillon[42] the cinematic recreations are unconvincing. Accuracy in the images was not what conceptual artist John Divola was seeking - the issue here concerns what is accidental and what is intentional within an image.[43] 
Examinations of photohistory 
929.18   Art >  James Welling: Conceptual photography 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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A lot of my work is intuitive and comes from just trying different things. [...] I enjoy operating between representation and abstraction, creating conditions where you don't really know what you're looking at. Like Wallace Stephens, I want my work to resist the intelligence as long as possible.[44]
In 1980, some said I was rethinking Stieglitz’s "Equivalents," making it leaner and tougher. I was trying to escape the transparency of photography, but I was basically running away from the history of Renaissance perspective. Now that I’m teaching, I see this much more clearly. The model of modernist art photography has been pushed to the side by the Brady-Atget-Sanders-Evans axis, which today becomes the Becher-Struth-Gursky-Ruff school, and which is all about the document, the transparent window, the Conceptual art photograph repackaged. It’s the new New Objectivity, with its concern for optics, lenses and, again, Renaissance perspective.[45]
929.19   Art >  Duane Michels: The Spirit Leaves the Body (1968) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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  1. Λ Alexander Alberro & Blake Stimson (eds.), 1999, Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology, (The MIT Press); Peter Osborne (ed.), 2011, Conceptual Art, (Phaidon Press, reissue) 
  2. Λ If anybody has any documentary evidence that explains the spiritual significance of glass globes to the Pictorialists I'd be most interested - 
  3. Λ Cindy Sherman & Peter Galassi, 2003, Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills, (New York: Musem of Modern Art)
    In 1995, The Museum of Modern Art (New York) purchased the series from the artist, preserving the work in its entirety. 
  4. Λ Reena Jana, March 21, 2001, "Is It Art, or Memorex?", Wired Magazine; Roberta Smith, November 11, 2011, "Flattery (Sincere?) Lightly Dusted With Irony," New York Times; Johanna Burton and Elisabeth Sussman; With contributions by Thomas Crow, David Joselit, Maria H. Loh, Howard Singerman, and Carrie Springer, 20012, Sherrie Levine: MAYHEM, (Yale University Press) 
  5. Λ August Sander, 1986, August Sander: Citizens of the Twentieth Century: Portrait Photographs 1892–1952, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) [Edited by Gunther Sander]; August Sander, 1980, August Sander: Photographs of an Epoch. 1904–1959, (Millerton, NY: Aperture) [Preface by Beaumont Newhall; historical commentary by Robert Kramer]; Manfred Heiting (ed.), 1999, August Sander 1876–1964, (New York: Taschen)  
  6. Λ Helmar Lerski (1871–1956) - IMDB
    (Accessed: 10 January 2014) 
  7. Λ For the original catalogue of Film und Foto - 1929, Internationale Ausstellung des Deutschen Werkbunds Film Und Foto Stuttgart 1929. See also - Ute Eskildsen & J.-C. Horak (eds.), 1979, Film und Foto der Zwanziger Jahre (Wurttembergischer Kunstverein) [German] 
  8. Λ Helmar Lerski, 1931, Köpfe des Alltags: Unbekannte Menschen gesehen von Helmar Lerski, (Berlin: Verlag Hermann Reckendorf) 
  9. Λ The photographs for "Metamorphosis through light" were taken in Tel Aviv and the subject Leo Uschatz was an unemployed draughtman and athlete.
    Helmar Lerski: Metamorphosis - 12 March to 22 May 2005, Exhibition at Fotostiftung Schweiz, curated by Peter Pfrunder
    (Accessed: 10 January 2014) 
  10. Λ Ute Eskildsen (ed.) & Helmar Lerski, 1982, Verwandlungen durch Licht / Metamorphosis through light, (Luca: Freren) 
  11. Λ Cindy Sherman & Peter Galassi, 2003, Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills, (New York: Musem of Modern Art) 
  12. Λ Maria Francesca Bonetti & Guido Schlinkert, 2008, Samuel Fosso, (5Continents); Ingrid Hoelzl, 2009, "Self-Portrait/Self-Vision: The Work of Samual Fosso", Nka - Journal of Contemporary African Art, no. 24, pp. 40-47 
  13. Λ John Henley, 19 June 2011, "Photographer Samuel Fosso's best shot", The Guardian, [Interview]
    (Accessed: 14 August 2013) 
  14. Λ Lucas Samaras, 1971, Samaras Album, Autointerview, Autobiography, Autopolaroid 1971, (New York: the Whitney Museum of American Art and Pace Editions, Inc.) 
  15. Λ M. Prather & L. Samaras, 2003, Unrepentant Ego: The Self Portraits of Lucas Samaras, (New York: Harry N. Abrams) 
  16. Λ Lesley A. Martin & Russell Ferguson, 2001, Nikki S. Lee: Projects, (Hatje Cantz Publishers) 
  17. Λ The Shadow, (1981) 
  18. Λ The Address Book, (1983) was published in the French newspaper La Liberation with interviews with people she called using the address book of Pierre Baudry accompanied by photographs of the activities he was involved in.
    Sophie Calle, 2012, The Address Book, (Siglio) 
  19. Λ The Hotel, (1981) 
  20. Λ Sarah Charlesworth
    (Accessed: 15 November 2013) 
  21. Λ Sarah Charlesworth, Osservatore Romano, March 17- May 10, 1978, 1978, 27 black and white prints reproduced same size as original newspapers, 16 1/2"x 23 1/2" each, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA, Accession: 2013.5
    With thanks to Miriam Yudelson Katz, J. Paul Getty Museum, for this information. (Facebook comment, 15 Nov 2013) 
  22. Λ Kidnapping of Aldo Moro - Wikipedia
    (Accessed: 15 November 2013) 
  23. Λ Oliver Laurent, 15 Nov 2013, "French newspaper removes all images in support of photographers", British Journal of Photography
    (15 November 2013) 
  24. Λ Alfred Stieglitz, "Fountain by R. Mutt", 1917, Book page, Creative Commons - Wikipedia
    Photograph of Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain". (Urinal "readymade" signed with joke name; early example of "Dada" art). A paradigmatic example of found-art.
    The Blind Man No. 2, page 4. Editors: Henri-Pierre Roche, Beatrice Wood, and Marcel Duchamp. Published in New York, May 1917 Fountain by Marcel Duchamp. 1917. Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz.
  25. Λ This definition of "readymade" is given in André Breton and Paul Éluard's Dictionnaire abrégé du Surréalisme with the initials MD that are presumably Marcel Duchamp. The source is contested. 
  26. Λ Yasumasa Morimura, 2003, Daughter of Art History: Photographs by Yasumasa Morimura, (New York: Aperture) 
  27. Λ Brian Boucher, April 25 2013, "Richard Prince Wins Major Victory in Landmark Copyright Suit", Art in America
    (Accessed: 21 November 2013) 
  28. Λ ASX Interview: "Interview with Joachim Schmid" (2013)
    (Accessed: 2 December 2013) 
  29. Λ To clarify this consider two distinct books the first being Sarah Greenough & D. Waggoner et al., 2007, The Art of the American Snapshot: 1888–1978 from the Collection of Robert E. Jackson, (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art). This book is curated by well respected curators for a well respected institution and includes vernacular photographs from a well respected collector. All the people here are sound but would they see themselves as artists? They have expertise, enquiring minds and curatorial skills but does the ordering of items create an artwork? If the same book was published by a different publisher, say an "art" publisher, would the tpe of printing, binding, marketing and distribution alter our perception of the final entity?
    With David Campany's 2013 book Gasoline (Mack Books) he has purchased images from newspaper image libraries and brought them together. It is an assemblage of existing images by a writer and critic. Is it an artwork or an editorial project? If a conceptual artist such as Joachim Schmid or Hans-Peter Feldman did the same it would certainly be. The definitions are becoming increasing difficult to justify. 
  30. Λ Part of my thoughts on this and the examples were based on a Facebook discussion within the Vernacular Photography Mafia group (29 November 2013). As with most groups there were numerous people involved and the comments by Brad Feuerhelm, Eugenie Shinkle, Mark Sink, Francesca Seravalle and Mimi Mollica were particularly useful. 
  31. Λ The literature on Andy Warhol is considerable, some he wrote, some was ghost written with his name on it and there are numerous monographs and catalogue raisonne that cover parts of his prolific output.
    For his prints which frequently appropriated the photographs of others - Frayda Feldman (ed.); Schellmann, Jorg & Warhol, Andy, 1989, Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonne, (Abbeville Press)
    For his paintings and sculpture - George Frei, 2002, The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne, vol. 1: Warhol: Paintings and Sculpture 1961-1963, (Phaidon Press); George Frei & Neil Printz, 2004, The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne, vol. 2: Warhol: Paintings and Sculpture 1964-1969, (Phaidon Press); Neil Printz & Ally King-Nero,2010, The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne, vol. 1: Warhol: Paintings and Sculpture 1970-1974, (Phaidon Press)
    For his interests in music and dance - Stephane Acquin (ed.), 2008, Warhol Live: Music and Dance in Andy Warhol's Work, (Prestel Publishing / The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) 
  32. Λ The Warhol
    The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5890
    Tel: 412.237.8300, Email: 
  33. Λ The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts 
  34. Λ The website of Mike Mandiberg raises some of the issues in a one act play After Sherrie Levine which is based on an interview with Sherrie Levine by Jeanne Siegal. (Accessed: 21 November 2013)
    For the "original" interview, whatever original means in this context, see: Arts Magazine, Summer 1985, "After Sherrie Levine" by Jeanne Siegel 
  35. Λ Douglas Crimp in 1977 curated the exhibition Pictures at Artists Space in Tribeca, New York. This exhibition included works by Sherrie Levine and was influential in raising debate on postmodernism in art and photography. 
  36. Λ Arts Magazine, Summer 1985, "After Sherrie Levine" by Jeanne Siegel 
  37. Λ Richard Prince interviewed by Karen Rosenberg - New York Art
    (Accessed: 21 November 2013) 
  38. Λ "Photographist oral history transcript, 1996 : Robert F. Heinecken", pp. 273-274
    Robert F. Heinecken Interviewed by Stephen K. Lehmer
    (Full text online - Accessed: 21 November 2013) 
  39. Λ Introduction to the online exhibition "William Laven: War Models" on Luminous-lInt. Text provided by William Laven, November 2006. 
  40. Λ John Divola, Edward Dimendberg & Theresa Luisotti, 1997, Continuity, (Ram Publications) Along with his "Evidence of Agression" series he did other series including "Artificial Nature" and "hallways, stairs, mirror." 
  41. Λ Alphonse Bertillon, [Album of Paris Crime Scenes], 1901-1908, Gelatin silver prints, 23 x 29 cm (9 1/16 x 11 7/16 ins) (page), Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Paper Company Collection, Purchase, The Howard Gilman Foundation Gift, 2001, Accession Number: 2001.483.1 
  42. Λ Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914) was a Parisian police official who used photography to create a photographic library of criminals in the Nineteenth century. He was the first to recognize that by constructing a classification system of visual features one could improve police work by more easily recognizing criminals and repeat offenders.
    Alphonse Bertillon, Alphonse, 1885, Identification anthropométrique: instructions signalétiques, (Melun: Typographie-Lithographie Administrative); Josh Ellenbogen, 2012, Reasoned and Unreasoned Images: The Photography of Bertillon, Galton, and Marey, (Penn State University) 
  43. Λ David Campany, 2006, "Who, What, Where, With What, Why, How and When? The Forensic Rituals of John Divola" Written for the book John Divola: Three Acts, (Aperture)
    (Accessed: 3 July 2014) 
  44. Λ James Welling, interview by Steel Stillman, "In the Studio. James Welling", February 2011, Art in America, p. 58 (Accessed: 18 November 2014, available online) 
  45. Λ JAMES WELLING: “James Welling with Jan Tumlir – ’80s Then – Photographer”, April 2003, ArtForum
    (Accessed: 18 November 2014, available online)


HomeContents > Further research

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General reading 
Bright, Susan, 2011, Art Photography Now, (Thames & Hudson) isbn-10: 0500289425 isbn-13: 978-0500289426 [Second edition] [Δ
Campany, David, 2013, Gasoline, (Mack Books) isbn-13: 978-1907946448 [Δ
Costello, Diarmuid & Iversen, Margaret (eds.), 2010, Photography After Conceptual Art, (Wiley-Blackwell) isbn-10: 1444333607 isbn-13: 978-1444333602 [Δ
Cotton, Charlotte, 2004, The Photograph as Contemporary Art, (Thames & Hudson) isbn-10: 0500203806 isbn-13: 978-0500203804 [Δ
Cotton, Charlotte, 2013, Summer, ‘Nine Years, A Million Conceptual Miles‘, Aperture, no. 211 [Δ
Fogle, Douglas, 2003, The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography 1960-1982, (Walker Art Center) isbn-10: 0935640762 isbn-13: 978-0935640762 [Δ
Fried, Michael, 2008, Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before, (Yale University Press) isbn-10: 0300136846 isbn-13: 978-0300136845 [Δ
Osbourne, Peter, 2002, Conceptual Art, (Phaïdon) isbn-10: 0714839302 isbn-13: 978-0714839301 [Δ
Soutter, Lucy, 2013, Why Art Photography?, (Routledge) isbn-10: 0415577349 isbn-13: 978-0415577342 [Δ
Squiers, Carol (ed.), 2014, What Is a Photograph?, (ICP/ DelMonico Books - Prestel) [Exhibition catalogue, ICP 31 January - 4 May 2014] [Δ
Witkovsky, Matthew S. et al., 2012, Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964-1977, (Art Institute of Chicago) isbn-10: 0300159714 isbn-13: 978-0300159714 [Δ
Zanot, Francesco, 2014, ‘The Installation as Work of Art: From Conceptualism to Wolfgang Tillmans‘, in Alessandra Mauro (ed.), 2014, Photoshow: Landmark Exhibitions that Defined the History of Photography, (Contrasto), pp. 217-232 [Δ
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
John Baldessari 
Baldessari, J., 2005, John Baldessari: Life’s Balance; Works 84-04, (Köln: Verlag Der Buchhandlung Walther Konig) [Δ
Sophie Calle 
Calle, Sophie, 1984, L'Hôtel, (Paris: Éditions de l'Etoile) [Δ
Calle, Sophie, 1989, Sophie Calle: A Survey [Δ
Calle, Sophie, 2004, Did You See Me?, (Prestel) [Δ
Calle, Sophie, 2007, Sophie Calle: Take Care of Yourself, (Dis Voir/Actes Sud) isbn-10: 2742768939 isbn-13: 978-2742768936 [There is also a DVD edition] [Δ
Calle, Sophie, 2012, Sophie Calle: Blind, (Actes Sud) isbn-10: 2330000588 isbn-13: 978-2330000585 [Braille edition] [Δ
Calle, Sophie, 2012, Sophie Calle: The Address Book, (Siglio) isbn-10: 0979956293 isbn-13: 978-0979956294 [Δ
Calle, Sophie, 2013, Ghosts, (Actes Sud) [Δ
Calle, Sophie, 2014, Voir la mer, (Actes Sud) [Δ
John Divola 
Divola, John; Dimendberg, Edward & Luisotti, Theresa, 1997, Continuity, (Ram Publications) isbn-10: 0963078542 isbn-13: 978-0963078544 [Δ
Hans-Peter Feldman 
Feldman, Hans-Peter, 1980, Telefonbuch, (Dudweiler: AQ-Verlag) isbn-10: 3922441165 [Δ
Feldman, Hans-Peter, 1998, Die Toten: 1967-1993 [The Dead], (Düsseldorf: Feldman Verlag) isbn-10: 3933485010 [Δ
Feldman, Hans-Peter, 2008, Album, (Köln: Walther König) [Δ
Feldman, Hans-Peter, 2009, Interview zusammen mit Hans Ulrich Obrist, (Köln: Walther König) [Δ
Tatay, Helena, 2002, Hans-Peter Feldmann, (Centre nationale de la photographie Paris) isbn-10: 3980790304 [German / English. Exhibition catalogue] [Δ
John Hilliard 
Hilliard, John, 2003, John Hilliard: the less said the better, (Verlag Das Wunderhorn) isbn-10: 388423207X isbn-13: 978-3884232071 [Editors: Karl Manfred Fischer & Uta Nusser, John Hilliard] [Δ
Sherrie Levine 
Levine, Sherrie, 2012, Sherrie Levine: Mayhem, (The Whitney Museum of American Art) isbn-10: 0300175965 isbn-13: 978-0300175967 [Δ
Levine, Sherrie; Singerman, Howard & Hentschel, Martin (ed.), 2001, Sherrie Levine: Pairs and Posses, (Hatje Cantz) isbn-10: 3775727752 isbn-13: 978-3775727754 [Δ
Sol LeWitt 
LeWitt, Sol, 1977, Sol LeWitt: PhotoGrids, (David Paul Press/ Rizzoli, New York) [Δ
Martha Rosler 
Rosler, Martha, 2006, Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Writings, 1975-2001, (The MIT Press) isbn-10: 0262681587 isbn-13: 978-0262681582 [Δ
Rosler, Martha & Zegher, Catherine de (ed.), 1999, Martha Rosler: Positions in the Life World, (The MIT Press) isbn-10: 026204174X isbn-13: 978-0262041744 [Δ
Rosler, Martha et al., 2005, Martha Rosler: Passionate Signal, (Hatje Cantz Publishers) isbn-10: 3775715991 isbn-13: 978-3775715997 [Δ
Rosler, Martha et al., 2009, Martha Rosler: The House, The Street, The Garden, (Diputacion de Granada) isbn-10: 8478074813 isbn-13: 978-8478074815 [Spanish] [Δ
Edward Ruscha 
Ruscha, Ed, 1962, Twentysix Gasoline Stations [Δ
Ruscha, Ed, 1968, Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass, (Los Angeles, California: Self-published, Printed by Blair Litho) [Δ
Ruscha, Ed, 1969, Crackers [Δ
Ruscha, Ed, 1970, Babycakes with Weights, ([California]: Edward Ruscha) [Δ
Ruscha, Ed, 1970, Some Los Angeles Apartments [2nd edition] [Δ
Ruscha, Ed, 1970, Various Small Fires [Δ
Ruscha, Ed, 1971, Records, (Hollywood: Heavy Industry Publications, Printed by G.R. Huttner Lithography) [Δ
Ruscha, Ed, 1971, Royal Road Test [Δ
Ruscha, Ed, 1990, Edward Ruscha: Los Angeles Apartments [Δ
Ruscha, Ed & Bengston, Billy Al, 1968, Business Cards, (Hollywood: Heavy Industry Publications; Printed by Vaughan Printing Co.) [Δ
Ruscha, Edward, 1965, Some Los Angeles Apartments, (Los Angeles: Anderson, Ritchie & Simon) [Δ
Ruscha, Edward, 1966, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, (Los Angeles: Edward Ruscha) [Δ
Ruscha, Edward, 1999, Heaven - Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959-1999 - Catalogue Raisonne [Δ
Ruscha, Edward, 2004, Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) [Edited by Alexander Schwartz] [Δ
Wolf, Sylvia, 2004, Ed Ruscha and Photography, (Göttingen, Germany: Steidl Verlag) [Δ
Joachim Schmid 
MacDonald, Gordon & Weber, John S., 2007, Joachim Schmid. Photoworks 1982–2007, (Brighton: Photoworks / Göttingen: Steidl) isbn-13: 978-3865213945 [Δ
Schmid, Joachim, 1991, Erste allgemeine Altfotosammlung, (Berlin: Edition Fricke & Schmid) isbn-10: 3927365203 [Δ
Schmid, Joachim, 1994, Bilder von der Straße, (Berlin: Edition Fricke & Schmid) isbn-10: 3927365289 [Δ
Schmid, Joachim, 2003, A meeting on holiday, (Amsterdam: NEROC'VGM) isbn-10: 9080828548 [Δ
Valtorta, Roberta, 2012, Joachim Schmid e le fotografie degli altri, (Milan: Johan & Levi) isbn-13: 978-8860100948 [Δ
James Welling 
Crump, James, 2013, James Welling: Monograph, (Aperture) isbn-10: 1597112097 isbn-13: 978-1597112093 [Δ
Welling, James, 2000, James Welling: Photographs 1974-1999, (Wexner Center for the Arts) isbn-10: 188139025X isbn-13: 978-1881390251 [Δ
Welling, James, 2007, James Welling: Flowers, (New York: David Zwirner) isbn-10: 0976913682 isbn-13: 978-0976913689 [Δ
Welling, James, 2010, Light Sources, (SteidlMACK) isbn-10: 3865218598 isbn-13: 978-3865218599 [Δ
Welling, James, 2011, James Welling: Glass House, (Damiani) isbn-10: 8862081618 isbn-13: 978-8862081610 [Δ
Welling, James, 2014, Diary / Landscape, (University Of Chicago Press) isbn-10: 022620412X isbn-13: 978-0226204123 [Δ
Welling, James, 2014, James Welling: Man of Fire, (Prestel) isbn-10: 3791353667 isbn-13: 978-3791353661 [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

Vito Acconci  (1940-) • John Baldessari  (1931-) • Mel Bochner  (1940-) • Sophie Calle  (1953-) • John Divola  (1949-) • Stan Douglas  (1960-) • Hans-Peter Feldman  (1941-) • Dan Graham  (1942-) • John Hilliard  (1945-) • Sherrie Levine  (1947-) • Sol LeWitt  (1928-2007) • Bruce Nauman  (1941-) • Robert Rauschenberg  (1925-2008) • Martha Rosler  (1943-) • Edward Ruscha  (1937-) • Joachim Schmid  (1955-) • James Welling  (1951-)
HomeThemesArt > Conceptual 
A wider gazeRelated topics 

HomeVisual indexes > Conceptual

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailCindy Sherman: Untitled film stills 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailEd Ruscha: Every Building on Sunset Strip 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailEd Ruscha: Royal Road Test 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailEd Ruscha: Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailJames Welling: Books 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailJohn Divola: Vandalism 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailJohn Divola: Zuma 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailKathy Grove: The Other Series 
ThumbnailMartha Rosler: Bringing the War Home : House Beautiful 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
   Still thinking about these... 
ThumbnailConceptual photography 
ThumbnailGlass globes 
Refreshed: 20 January 2015, 19:59
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