New Photography 2013 presents recent works by eight international artists who have expanded the field of photography as a medium of experimentation and intellectual inquiry. Their porous practices—grounded in photographic artist’s books, sculpture, photomontage, performance, and science—creatively reassess the themes and processes of making pictures today.
Adam Broomberg (South African, b. 1970) and Oliver Chanarin's (British, b. 1971) War Primer 2 (2011), an artist’s book focused on the "War on Terror," physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht’s first English-language edition of War Primer. In his signature works, Brendan Fowler (American, b. 1978), a musician and visual artist, overlaps up to four framed pictures by literally crashing one through another, thus mixing photography and performance. Annette Kelm (German, b. 1975) conflates several genres in single works or in series on a single motif. Carefully composed, not unlike advertisements, the precise objectivity of her pictures is often undercut by artifice and strangeness. Lisa Oppenheim (American, b. 1975) produces photograms by culling Flickr images of fire in natural disasters or bombing attacks. She then creates digital negatives, which she exposes to fire and solarizes. In her cross-media practice, Anna Ostoya (Polish, b. 1978) examines the histories of lesser-known avant-garde movements in East-Central Europe in parallel with their renowned Western counterparts. Josephine Pryde (British, b. 1967) references the history of darkroom experiments and contemporary medical imaging techniques in such photo series as It’s Not My Body (2011). Eileen Quinlan’s (American, b. 1972) forays into abstract photography are grounded in feminist history and material culture.
The artists in New Photography 2013 explore dialectical reversals between abstraction and representation, documentary and conceptual processes, the uniquely handmade and the mechanically reproducible, and analog and digital techniques, underscoring the idea that there has never been just one type of photography.