do ideas matter? behind the images

Ideas about the photographs…

semiotics – the study of reading signs – culturally based, signs within your culture that signify meanings that you understand.


source magazine – get for finding contemporary photographers, and conceptual ideas.


what is conceptual photography photography? using the camera to express an idea.             A type of photography that illustrates an idea. – the piece offers an explanation to what its about instead of reading the image itself.



watching video – http://www.source.e/feature/what_is_conceptual.html    (

video 2)                    asking the questions – what are the main points being made? what key points can you locate? – what questions does this short video raise for you? – sum up the context in your own words= in a few sentences.

  • people never challenge
  • derogatory to other photography
  • thought behind the image instead of just snapping pictures
  • conceptual is contemporary, idea over rides the work- the work isn’t speaking for itself
  • deliberately obvious what the work was until contemporary work was brought in – now it doesn’t give you a chance for you to create your own opinion
  • gives us perspective
  • just homes in on one way of seeing

video was going so fast i couldn’t connect with it or understand it until half way through

need to watch the video again to understand it better and be able to pick up more points…

  • watching the video again – video 2
  • conventions that already exist that no body can challenges
  • ‘the art of portraits and the nude’
  • photography obsessed by representation
  • always look at the picture as if you’re not getting it – don’t just assume you have it right – look at it more closely
  • with conceptual you have to dig deep – to see all of the rich layering – ideas behind, history, context
  • derogatory to other types of photographic making
  • 1970s started to bring emotion back into photography
  • photography consumed under humanist discourse – dominated photographic criticism
  • the generation of artist photographers that picked up on the conceptual barrier 1970s ‘Victor Burgen’ ‘Alan Secular’
  • brought a seriousness to photography  – most critical of capitalism
  • made it into a valued market ‘Paul Graham’
  • ‘going into the world and just snapping what you see is no longer valued response’
  • before conceptual – expressive, personal, subjective, tactile, emotional – all of those things have been out out out?
  • conceptual is an anti- personal, anti-emotional, anti-subjective??
  • something that refuses to have it’s meaning pinned down is a value rather than a weakness
  • because of the text behind it  – people no longer looking at the meaning behind photography – no longer trying to figure out themselves the meaning behind the image.
  • photography is a good way of giving you a one side of an object – one perspective – that point of view can sometimes be deceptive – one way of seeing


watching the other two videos that were not a part of the lesson…

  • video 1 
  • images have subject matter
  • had no idea what to call it – tried many different names – ‘7 years book’
  • want to know why – what is idea behind?
  • 60s and 70s not really and critical industry around art
  • John Hilliard more interested in technical capabilities of taking a photograph


  • video 3
  • all photography is not conceptual
  • all photography is an abstraction of reality
  • all photography to some degree is conceptual – driven by concept
  • artist is ideas
  • photographer knows about your machine
  • ‘John Moore’ Rawalpindi







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