“Thus, if one of the major claims of modernist art theory was the insistence on the self-sufficiency and purity of the work of art, postmodern practice hinges on the assertion of contingency and the primacy of cultural codes. It follows that a significant proportion of postmodern art based on photographic usages is animated by a critical, or, if one prefers, deconstructive impulse. The intention of such work is less about provoking feeling than about provoking thought.”

Abigail Solomon-Godeau, “Photography After Art Photography,” in Photography at the Dock : Essays on Photographic History, Institutions, and Practices, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), pp. 113

“If I knew what the picture was going to be like I wouldn’t make it. It was almost like it was made already.. the challenge is more about trying to make what you can’t think of.”

Cindy Sherman, in conversation with Betsy Berne, “Tate Arts and Culture,” Issue 5, May/June 2003.

“I think it would be so great if more people took up silk screening,so that no one would know whether my picture was mine or somebody else’s.”

Andy Warhol, (1963), as cited in Georg Frei and Neil Printz, ed.”The Andy Warhol Catalog Raisonné, Volume 1: Paintings and Sculpture, 1961-1963″

What does it mean to be an artist? Can one be an owner of an artistic style? And if so, does its exclusion mean that it is implicitly worthy?

When reading Abigail Solomon-Godeau’s essay “Photography After Art Photography” I kept hearing Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine, Sol LeWitt and Andy Warhol speaking out about the potentially hegemonic practices of modernist rhetoric, and I have to admit that I’m drawn to the intellectual possibilities afforded by postmodernism… if we can even begin to code, as well as decode, its structure. Fragments provide juxtapositions, breaks, liminal spaces– and, I believe, these are the moments worth investigating.


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