Is MoP primarily about photography as a medium, manipulative technology or the fantasies worlds created as a mitigation?
On the Redline website the exhibition, The Reality of Fiction is described as
“A survey of photographers work who explore the subject of reality and fiction in this new millennium. From serious social documentation to humorous and absurdities of our modern culture.
This survey of fake will consist of portraits of extreme plastic surgery, hyper realistic fake babies, fake holidays, fake relationships, fake realities, UFO Polaroids and much more.”
As documented in the Denver Post, the Month of Photography brings media specific authenticity into debate as well. And, I’d argue, just by having a city-wide Month of Photography that is billed as the Month of Photography people will be talking about the age old debate between technique and craft versus concept. Discursive on authenticity also is reminiscent of photography’s insistance with documentation and the original. What is the original? Isn’t the original the object that exists? Not the document of the original? (There’s no original except the real actual and even that is mitigated by the perceptual.)
I want to know how deep does Mark Sink dig into the question of technological advances? I have a sense that in his curatorial efforts at Redline there are possibilties for him to unfold Western art history -the staging, and performative works that created and cemented the public’s hunger for a fictional and an edited narrative. Fictions that has often been put to the ploy of gender fantasies in the guise of fashion photography. Does it dig deep into perception and inabilities of seeing? Difference of seeing? Is it real if we can only see it unaided through our eyes without the aid of lenses? Isn’t the computer in essence another lens? A map of other connections?
With the hype of MoP and the questions it has raised, I have to go see a variety of the Month of Photography exhibitions. I’m wondering how far other exhibitions have taken the concept of narrative fiction. How do the differing galleries respond to a MoP (media specific) call? Do the exhibitions pan out to be a bit provincial with a certain narrow specificity? Or do some of the exhibitions acknowledge the historiticity of fictional narrative? Let’s not forget the elaborate manipulation of narrative by one of Western Art’s largest patrons- The Catholic Church. Ha. Ha. Talk about an immersive installation.
I’ll posit that the best works throughout the month long exhibition throughout metro Denver will in ACTUALITY assume both an identity of that which is at both times real and fake. Almost believable. (A painter may have the ability to make some object look like a photograph that is until the viewer can see the work in person. ) A collage can often reference other technological devices (think kaleidoscope) that reference alterations of perception. Manipulative processes that alter sight, lenses, colored lenses, filters and even windows affect our perception of the world. Is photoshop and digital manipulation the camera obscura of the photographic world? Check out the work of David Hockney in this debate. And why does it truly matter? Isn’t each artist medium reliant on the staged and fictional? Even documentary photographs present a skewed relationship to the world.
I’ll be following with works that comment. Stay tuned.