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Photography and painting in multi-mediating pictures

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This essay addresses a group of contemporary artworks which qualify as photography and painting at the same time. Because these works lack medium-specificity, several theorists refer to them as 'pictures'. Analysis of this concept's etymological origin and of the art-historical context in which it appeared indeed reveals the concept's usefulness for discussing this particular group of artworks. However, merely defining them as 'pictures' would imply that important and interesting effects of the combination of photography and painting in these works are ignored, if not negated. This is why the authors coin the term 'multi-mediating picture' as a preferable concept in this context. As such it not only refers to the clearly discernible multiplication of media in these works, but it also indicates the layered and delayed perception that results from this multiplication. The authors demonstrate the suitability of their concept through a case-study of two photographs by Louise Lawler. Their analysis is geared to processes of appropriation involving both other media and images made by other artists.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2009

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