Photography between Poetry and Politics

The Critical Position of the Photographic Medium in Contemporary Art
Hilde Van Gelder & Helen Westgeest (Eds.)
Lieven Gevaert Series
Volume 07
2008

This book examines a recurrent question in recent literature on the use of the photographic medium in contemporary art. It is concerned with the multiformity of ways the photograph manifests itself in diverse artistic practices today, and with the consequences of this situation for photography’s critical potential. Central to this discussion is the question whether photography has a hybrid or chameleonic character because it can be part of entirely different mixed-media works of art. The book also raises such questions as: Does the photo-image nowadays serve mainly as a useful tool to make a renewed kind of tableau, often marked by a rather noncommittal and ‘poetic’ visual imagery? When photographic practices aim at raising a critical debate on the internal workings of the artistic system itself or on broader social problems, is the photograph then able to distinguish itself from a merely ‘political’ statement or a pamphlet? A variety of authors, all specialists in the field of contemporary photography, offer their viewpoints on this debate.

€34,50, ISBN 9789058676641, paperback, 192 pp., English