Critical Inquiry 38 (4):679-693 (2012)

Diarmuid Costello
University of Warwick
The essays collected in this special issue of Critical Inquiry are devoted to reflection on the shifts in photographically based art practice, exhibition, and reception in recent years and to the changes brought about by these shifts in our understanding of photographic art. Although initiated in the 1960s, photography as a mainstream artistic practice has accelerated over the last two decades. No longer confined to specialist galleries, books, journals, and other distribution networks, contemporary art photographers are now regularly the subject of major retrospectives in mainstream fine-art museums on the same terms as any other artist. One could cite, for example, Thomas Struth at the Metropolitan Museum in New York , Thomas Demand at the Museum of Modern Art , or Jeff Wall at Tate Modern and MoMA . Indeed, Wall's most recent museum show, at the time of writing, The Crooked Path at Bozar, Brussels , situated his photography in relation to the work of a range of contemporary photographers, painters, sculptors, performance artists, and filmmakers with whose work Wall considers his own to be in dialogue, irrespective of differences of media. All this goes to show that photographic art is no longer regarded as a subgenre apart. The situation in the United Kingdom is perhaps emblematic of both photography's increasing prominence and its increased centrality in the contemporary art world over recent years. Tate hosted its first ever photography survey, Cruel and Tender, as recently as 2003, and since then photography surveys have become a regular biannual staple of its exhibition programming, culminating in the appointment of Tate's first dedicated curator of photography in 2010. A major shift in the perception of photography as art is clearly well under way
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DOI 10.1086/667419
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Photography and Representation.Roger Scruton - 1981 - Critical Inquiry 7 (3):577-603.

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