PRINT March 2010


THERE IS NO ONE THING CALLED PHOTOGRAPHY. Photographs are images, but they are also things, and their meanings change with each material iteration: negative, digital file, exhibition print, magazine page, Web posting (not to mention the variations within each of these and other presentation forms). As Rosalind Krauss wrote in 1999—with pointed reference to Walter Benjamin’s essays on the discipline—we must acknowledge “the self-differential condition of mediums themselves” and “the necessary plurality of the arts . . . a plural condition that stands apart from any philosophically unified idea of Art.”¹ Nevertheless, the drive persists today to reestablish medium specificity, to find elements of aesthetic coherence that would draw disparate photographs together and unite them as Art, in a way distinct from other creative domains.

Defeated on the plane of the overtly figurative or documentary,

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