The Museum of Modern Art
Continues to January 6, 2014
The Robert and Joyce Menschel Photography Gallery, third floor
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
New Photography 2013 is an exhibition of the following eight international artists who have expanded the field of photography as a medium of experimentation and intellectual inquiry.
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
In creating War Primer 2 (2011) – the winner of Deutsche Börse photography prize 2013 – Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin were inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s original War Primer (1955) photo-epigrams which were reprinted press photographs from World War II, most of them from LIFE magazine photographs, replacing the captions with short poems about the essential truth of each image.
Here is raison d’être of War Primer 2:
“We began to feel uncomfortable about how naive our subjects were about the power of an image, that a photograph is a piece of currency that has an afterlife. We wanted to make work that critiqued that.”
Broomberg and Chanarin silkscreen a sampling of “poor” images from the ‘War on Terror’ onto Brecht’s already overlaid compositions. In effect, War Primer 2 highlights “images of conflict generated by both sides of the so-called “War on Terror” via a background of Brecht’s photo-epigrams of the Second World War.
These “poor images are from the internet – compressed, uploaded, ripped, squeezed, reformatted, re-edited and often anonymous images.”
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin explained their work of art for the age of digital reproduction with today’s “poor” images as an enigma. “Why is it that images we trust are now most often the lowest resolution or blurred images, so-called poor images? Perhaps it’s because there seems to be a trade-off inherent in these images: a compromise on quality (resolution, composition, focus) for speed and authenticity.”
War Primer 2 is also a FREE e-book of 100 photo-epigrams, downloadable from their website.
Fowler is a free-jazz percussionist and a performer on the rock/DIY underground music circuit (under the name BARR), as well as a visual artist in 2008.
For his work of art, Fowler combines up to four framed pictures, “crashing” them together to make three-dimensional photo-sculptures of snapshots of his friends, arrangements of flowers, his artist studio, mirrors, and screens in restructured narratives.
In a major work, he even reveals both the fronts and backs of the frames of his photographs, which are stacked and screwed together.
Using large- and medium-format analog cameras, Kelm produces both individual and series of works with repeating motifs.
She shows a combination of photographs that is “undercut by artifice and strangeness: Kelm turns out baffling narratives.”
Oppenheim shows us that you can make photographs without a camera, which are called photograms.
In the series Smoke and related works she uses the techniques of documentary photography and the photo-sharing site Flickr, as sources for images relating to the subject.
Ostoya uses photomontage in pairing pseudomorphic (visually similar) subjects to create compelling new images.
In her work Mixed Pseudomorphism of a True/False Cry, she was interested in the “effective power of the images in exploring how the images influence us, how they move us.”
In her series It’s Not My Body, Pryde uses darkroom experimentation and contemporary medical-imaging techniques.
She superimposes low-resolution MRI scans of a human embryo in its mother against desert landscapes shot through tinted filters.
Pryde’s work of art illustrates “photography as a way of enabling us to see things that the naked eye cannot, and answers the question “What is it we are not seeing?”
Eileen Quinlan is an abstract photography artist with training in commercial photography.
In her work Laura, she experimented with outdated black-and-white film to make both a Polaroid picture and a negative. By manipulating the chemistry in the 4 x 5 film packet, so that parts of the film do not develop properly, Quinlan created a double pinnacle form which she scanned and colorized digitally.