philadelpia

“Photo-Mannerisms”

Lawrence Oliver Gallery

“Photo-Mannerisms,” a group exhibition of 18 artists, posited photography as the quintessentially mannerist art form. The intriguing conflation of the two was here arrived at via a Lacanian interpretation of Parmigianino’s Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, 1524, which the show’s curator, Klaus Ottmann, expounds upon in a brochure that accompanied the show. According to Ottmann, this painting corresponds to the essence of photography. “The photograph,” he writes in the middle of the brochure, “substitutes the mirror, the reflection of the Self, for the experience of the Other.” He shores up and extends this idea by invoking a variety of art historical, philosophical, and literary sources: Arnold Hauser, Roland Barthes, John Ashbery, José Ortega y Gasset, even Marshall McLuhan. The exhibition’s principal points of formal and conceptual comparison—fragmentation, alienation, ambiguity, paradox,

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