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p. 403. Pictureslocked

  • Steve Edwards


There are three categories of photographic art: ‘art photography’ from the 1860s, which involves photographers making pictures that claim the status of art; artists using photography; and ‘street photography’ or ‘auteur documentary’. ‘Pictures’ considers the trends and a few contradictions in art-photography. Art-photography in the early days maintained a relationship to the idea of the objective document. The notion of the avant-garde changed this but elements of past ideas remained. In contemporary art, the photographic image is used to examine a wide range of identities, fantasies, memories, and places. Two tendencies are discernible: photographers continuing to use the rhetoric of the document to explore everyday life, and photographers investigating the role of photography in mass culture using staged images.

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