Monday, March 2, 2009

Catholicity and the New Topographics

Its been a while since I have made any more posts on the New Topographics. Due to a time crunch lately I have been rather sparse in my posting. Today I did want to share links to three great papers on the New Topographics.

Of Mother Nature and Marlboro Men
Deborah Bright's classic post-modernist and feminist essay pursues and critiques the New Topographics for failing to make a clear social comment, as well as the art world, for reducing their work to sanctified art objects. She easily dismisses their "objectivity" and demands that they are part of a 1970's social context that was well aware of a burgeoning ecological movement that certainly would seem to influence their work in some fashion. She challenges landscape photographers to acknowledge the dynamic relationship between cultures and the landscapes they inhabit by looking ideas of zoning, security, private and public spaces, retail spaces rather than an escapist or colonialist perspective.

Landscape and the West: Irony and Critique in New Topographic Photography
This second paper is by Kelly Dennis who interacts directly with Bright's essay but pushes upon the ideas of irony and its use (or lack thereof) in American culture and actual use or clear understanding with the visual arts (save Conceptual art).

Landscape, Geography, and Topographic Photography
This third paper, by Liz Wells, discusses the changes in topographic photography and how we understand the role and truthfullness of the image. Here her work looks towards the photographic methodology as a photographer as researcher.