The Photographic Activity of Post-modernism – Douglas Crimp. 5 January I was relieved to find that this essay was not about. The Photographic Activity of Postmodernism . attribute to the kind of photographic activity I call postmodernist. .. Douglas Crimp, “Pictures,” October, no. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use, available at.

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Thoughts on Douglas Crimp’s essay The Photographic Activity of Postmodernism

Instinctivelyand without effort,I dividedmyself,so to speak,into twopersons,ofwhom one, thereal,the genuine one, continued on her own account, while the other, a successfulimitationof thefirst,was delegatedto have relationswith the world. The restorationof theaura, theconsequentcollectingand exhibiting,does not stop there. Its aura has been utterlydepletedby thethousandsof timeswe’ve seen itsreproduction,and no degreeof concentrationwill restoreits uniqueness forus.

Although, thinking about it, in a culture that has only a few hundred years of history, most artifacts more than a fortnight old would belong in a museum! The talk last night during the hang out was really useful, and I was very glad to have joined and grateful to Peter for his time.

I think a gallery is a much better place for it. It would seem,though,thatifthewitheringaway of theaura is an inevitable factof our time,thenequally inevitableare all thoseprojectsto recuperateit, to pretendthat theoriginal and theunique are still possible and desirable.


In theirwork,the original cannot be located, is always deferred; even the selfwhich mighthave generatedan original is shown to be itselfa copy. It is only in theabsence of theoriginal thatrepresentation may takeplace.

The Photographic Activity of Post-modernism – Douglas Crimp

But ultimatelytheirratherbrutalfamiliar- itygivesway to strangeness,as an unintendedand unwanteddimensionoffiction reinvadesthem.

Levine has said that,when she showed her photographsto a friend,he remarkedthat theyonly made him want to see photoggraphic originals.

In my attemptto continue the logic of the developmentI was outlining,I came eventuallyto a stumblingblock. There is much more of an aesthetic style within this photograph and thus more representational of the photographer. There are too many isms in this paragraph to be comprehensible to me. The museum has embracedboth of thesephenomena with equal enthusiasm,not to say voraciousness.

If Levine’s photographsoccupya criimp on thatspectrumofphotography-as- art,it would be at the farthestreaches of straightphotography,not only because thephotographsshe appropriatesoperatewithin thatmode but because she does not manipulate her photographs in any way; she merely,and literally,takes photographs.

They are, in the firstplace, dedicated to the preservationof postmodfrnism as a transcendentalhigh art, and an art of universal as opposed to local or topical significance.

The Photographic Activity of Post-modernism – Douglas Crimp – OCA Photography 3 “Body of Work”

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Sherman’s photographs are all self-portraitsin which she appears in disguise enacting a drama whose particularsare withheld. Crimp admits that his use of the word subjectivity plays into my above question. Their images are purloined, confiscated,appropriated, stolen.

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NeitherBenjamin’s “sparkof chance” nor Barthes’s”thirdmeaning” would guaranteephotography’s place in themuseum. Post- modernism”sponsoredby Parachute in Montreal,October The notion that any representation of anything in the world gives it an artistic status.

The Photographic Activity of Postmodernism | Douglas Crimp –

Althoughit mayat first seem thatBenjamin lamentedtheloss of theaura, the contraryis in fact true. It has, we mightsay,acquired an aura, only now it is a functionnot ofpresencebut ofabsence,severedfroman origin,froman originator,fromauthenticity. Crimp seems to think so. At the opposite end of thatspectrumis thephotographywhich is self-consciouslycomposed, manipulated, fictionalized,the so-called directorial mode, in which we findsuch auteursof photographyas Duane Michaels and Les Krims.

Postmodernismcan only be understood as a specificbreach with modernism,with those institutionswhich are the preconditionsforand which shape the discourseof modernism. Expressionist painters perceive post-modern photographic activity as a threat.

But in thiscase it is also symptomaticofa morelimitedand internecinethreat: This paragraph explains a difficulty. The resulting photographs of the performance were so remote from the experience of watching that performance. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Benjamin suggested the only photographs that carried aura were those made prior to its s commercialisation.