Voyage au bout de l’ennui

After History: Alexandre Kojève as a Photographer, BAK, Utrecht, 20 May–15 July 2012; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, 21 September–16 November 2012; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 17 October 2012–7 January 2013. In a darkened room stand seven podiums, like black treadmills at a standstill. Each faces a digitized photo­graph projected onto a bare wall. The […]

Chris Marker, 1921–2012

Obituaries Future anterior Chris Marker, 1921–2012 Should we start with the death in Paris, on 29 July 2012, at the age of 91? Or with the birth, on the same day in 1921 in Ulan Bator (or Belleville, or Neuillysur-Seine, depending on who you ask)? We could start, perhaps, with the names, like a proper […]

‘Siegfried Kracauer’, University of Birmingham, 13–14 September 2002

Conference report Letdown ‘Siegfried Kracauer’, University of Birmingham 13–14 September 2002 Only the superstitious would argue that the omens should have been heeded. Was it really the power of Friday the 13th that jinxed the event, such that all four ʻbig nameʼ international speakers failed to show at this two-day conference devoted to the work […]

Susan Sontag, 1933–2004

Obituary Counter-traditionalist Susan Sontag, 1933–2004 In the prefatory note to her first collection of critical writings, Against Interpretation (1966), Susan Sontag reflected that ʻin the end, what I have been writing is not criticism at all, strictly speaking, but case studies for an aesthetic, a theory of my own sensibilityʼ. The statement holds true for […]

W.G. Sebald and the modern art of memory

W.G. Sebald and the modern art of memory Stewart martin been repressed within cultural consciousness, but with what has been repressed by the dominant scenes and institutions of memory, with what the memory of the repressed itself represses. This is controversial but also timely, as the recent commemorations of the bombing of Dresden indicate. It […]

Beyond Barthes

Beyond Barthes Rethinking the phenomenology of photography Andrew fisher This article attempts to outline a phenomenology of photography, oriented by the situation of photography in contemporary media culture. Various recent photographic art practices have come to emphasize what may be seen as specifically phenomenological issues of appearance, perception and form. The widespread use of photography […]

Jeff Wall

Interview jeff wall Art after photography, after conceptual art Peter osborne Let’s start with a question about theory. Do you consider theory to play a formative role in your art practice as well as your critical writing? And, if so, what is the difference between the two cases? Jeff wall It’s changed. In the early […]

Flux and flurry

Flux and flurry Stillness and hypermovement in animated worlds Esther leslie Animation, as any Wikipedia reader knows, is ‘the optical illusion of movement’, whether achieved through photographing drawings, moving clay models and recording the tweaks frame by frame, drawing directly on film or devising models digitally. But the definition is a weak one, or only […]

Notes on the photographic image

Notes on the photographic image Jacques rancière In the relation between art and image, photography has played a symptomatic and often paradoxical role. Baudelaire made of it the sinister instrument of the triumph of technical reproduction over artistic imagination. And yet we also know of the long struggle of photographers (pictorialistes) to affirm that photography […]

This is not my body

This is not my body Elisabeth lebovici Indeed there are not two genders, there is only one, the feminine, the ‘masculine’ not being a gender. For the masculine is not the masculine but the general. [1] These two sentences, written by Monique Wittig in 1983, pronounce a regime of visibility and invisibility for the feminine […]

The involution of photography

The involution of photography Andrew fisher As we settle further into the era of digital media and globalized visual culture, it might be tempting to think that photography holds no more than historical interest. Yet it continues to feature in debates with considerable significance for the present. [1] The terms by which it was negotiated […]