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UAL Research Online

The Architecture of the Photograph

Robertson, Helen (2005) The Architecture of the Photograph. Mosaic - a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature, 37 (4). pp. 203-214. ISSN 0-919475-33-7

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Robertson, Helen

In this essay I have used a conceptualization of the photographic to demonstrate how the photographic process already contains within its structure the idea of viewing and picture making. Each new image is in dialogue with the structure that precedes it. Photography doubles or re-enacts the process of viewing and image making from within its own structure.

In this vein, Thomas Ruff and Jeff Wall have engaged with the photographic as a conceptual structure to investigate and depict representation itself. These artists set up a dialogue between the medium of photography and the subject in their photographs; every aspect of their work re-iterates conceptual structures that underpin the photographic.

Architectural examples by Herzog and de Meuron similarly consider architecture as reflecting upon its own structure. In the works of Herzog and de Meuron, an idea/picture of the building is incorporated into the form of the building. These works self-reflexively engage with their own structure in order to generate something new. That is to say representation engages with representation itself: representation being seen as simultaneously retrospective (bound by its history) and creative (continuously subject to renegotiation).

The main body of the paper looks at the relationship between Thomas Ruff’s photographs of Mies Van der Rohe’s buildings and Mies’ own creative pictorial strategies. Ruff’s picture making strategies have been discussed by other writers/ commentators but to my knowledge the comparison I made with Mies was new and involved primary research looking at Ruff’s images and Mies’ drawings, collages and photomontages.

Official Website: http://www.umanitoba.ca/mosaic/events/photograph/special_issue.shtml
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 15 January 2005
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 09:30
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2010 09:11
Item ID: 1018
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1018

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