Framing Photographs: Contexts & Transpositions

An exhibit by the members of the 2007-2008 Faculty Seminar on Photography, Modernism, and Post-Modernism.

For this exhibit the members of the 2007-2008 Faculty Seminar on Photography, Modernism, and Post-Modernism have selected images from our own Special Collections in Magill Library, along with an eclectic mix of supplemental materials: projects by artists, merchandise, books, video clips, and posters. By juxtaposing these artifacts, we hope to examine what makes particular images make sense, and to create syntactic relations among them that show their multiple lives across a spectrum of meaning. New technologies circulate images speedily across spaces and times. We see this in the overlapping shifts from painting, to photography, to film and video, to the digital imagery of the internet era. Several connecting threads are notable in the paintings and photographs upon which this exhibit is based. At times, they have been placed in new locations, opening them up to reinterpretations of varying degrees of sophistication. Often, however, the visual links have been subtler, as existing images—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not—frame the production and reception of new representations. None of this visual evidence is entirely as it appears to be, as none of these images provide unmediated references to the realities toward which they gesture. We especially invite you to begin questioning why you see them as you do. John B. Hurford ’60 Humanities Center Faculty Seminar for 2007-08 Photography, Modernism, and Post-Modernism, an exploration of film and photography in relation to the historical disciplines and other fields.

Leader: James Krippner (History) Participants: Kim Benston (English), Laurie Hart (Anthropology), Graciela Michelotti (Spanish), Debora Sherman (English), Gus Stadler (English), Christina Zwarg (English), and John Muse, Mellon Post-doc Fellow 2007-09, whose expertise made this exhibit possible.