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Re: Rodchenko at the Hayward

From:     Eva
Category: Art
Date:     26 March 2008
Time:     06:13 AM


“people don’t believe a photo is a carrier of inherent ‘Truth’”: yes, I should have expanded on
that. Rather than saying that we’re in a post-ideological moment, I agree with Zizek that we are in
a moment where people know they are being duped at some level and just don’t care. CGI animation,
Blair Witches and direct experience of making and editing movies for family and YouTube has
increased awareness of the medium and it’s workings. I think I could ‘prove’ that if I really needed
to. So the point is the greater awareness of the construction of  (moving and still) photographic
images now. I’m interested less in the shaky camera itself than the current awareness of the
artifice of this kind of ‘realism’. My logic is that if you’re aware how something is constructed
(and have experienced countless scandals related to the veracity of images), you are less likely to
believe that a photo is a carrier of inherent ‘Truth’.  Zizek's point is that not believing in the
truth of a position is no obstacle for ideological inclusion. So this relates to your point about
current photography vis-à-vis ideology.

What I understand that you’re saying is that when Godard and Ryman were ‘fighting the formalist
fight’ there was no one making photographs like Rodchenko’s and the result was a greater belief in
the veracity of the photographic medium. I’m not sure though. In the 60s how was photography
understood - there was street photography, war photography, a lot of photography in paintings
(Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close et al), Conceptual art using photography, wacky photographic hybrid
animations, political photographic montage, the Situationists’ work, Chris Marker etc. A lot of very
different photographic discussions responding to the world. Dispersed, yes. You say "photography in
early conceptual art was a method of recording the art rather than, in most instances, being the art
itself". Okay, so above I've expanded out of Conceptual art to other contemporaneous photographic
practices. I'm sure you're going to tell me I've misunderstood something here.

Godard wasn’t such a strict formalist anyway. He was using his editing to create emotional effects,
beyond critique of the medium. The Dogma crew are Godard’s children but I’m definitely not saying
they’re the only ones. 

Conceptual art: yes, very well put.

Photographic history: okay. 

Shopping: sadly, the communal farm yielded a bad crop this year.  

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