Friday, November 6, 2009

Into the Darkroom, With Pulleys, Jam and Snakes

“Red Headed Woman” (2008), color print
by Daniel Gordon,
on view in MoMA's “New Photography 2009”

Art Reviews
'New Photography 2009,' 'Processed,' 'Surface Tension'
By KAREN ROSENBERG, November 6, 2009

Three current shows, at two major museums and a university art gallery, outline the manifold choices available to contemporary photographers.

Back when Andreas Gursky was on the rise, the art world buzzed about the supposedly unfair advantages of digital photography. Photoshop and other computer manipulations were seen as performance-enhancing drugs, an impression fostered by Mr. Gursky’s gargantuan, hyperdetailed prints.

We have since learned that these processes need not poison the medium. Some young photographers have made a point of going digital in transparent ways. Others have disappeared into the darkroom, emerging with works that bear legitimizing traces of chemicals. Abstract photographs are everywhere, sidestepping the whole truth-in-representation issue.
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