Pioneers

Revisiting a favourite bookshop, in Daylesford, I recently returned with several gems of books. Jo Spence's Autobiographical treatise on herself and her photography [Putting Myself in the Picture: A Political, Personal and Photographic Autobiography], and 1999 exhibition catalogue of William Wegman's work.

While I have yet to pick up the Jo Spence book, my last reading would have been whilst at University, I did have a read of the Wegman catalogue. I was very surprised to read that he began his creative career as a painter sculptor and conceptual/experimental artist. Wegman picked up photography out of convenience, to document his art work, while also experimenting with video. His art works, in the early days were fleeting and ephemeral, thus photography proved the work existed.

Slowly his attention shifted to the way images could be made that questioned the nature of the document created, till eventually all his work became photographic while still proudly displaying his surreal and conceptual roots. The work featured in the catalogue is at times funny, and others deadly serious. His dogs feature only briefly towards the end of the catalogue. The time this work was being made? In the 1970's.

It's fortuitous or perhaps, disastrous that the 2 books surfaced AFTER I submitted some work for publication in 2nd Nature, published by RMIT. As being able to refer back to these early pioneers of 'documentary photography' would have helped bolster my argument about the my use of photography, with my mobile phone, in this day and age of wireless networks and mobile computing.

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This page contains a single entry by s2art published on November 24, 2009 5:00 PM.

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