As part of the feedback I received at the recent Thames Valley Group meeting, our tutor Jayne suggested I read Craig Owens’ essay. Representation, Power, and Culture Craig Owens, Scott Bryson Barbara Photography. en. abyme. Brassa’i’s portrait of a group of young Parisians at the Bal. This is an extract of an long essay on the work of photographer Nicolas [1] André Gide cited in Craig Owens, ‘Photography en abyme,’.

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Like a looping fold, an imagined horizontal surface is transformed into the undulating form of the museum and then back to the original fantasy in photographic form. The mirror reflects not only the subjects depicted, but also the entire photograph itself.

At a superficial reading, it appears to be a standard image of a party scene, but as one looks at it in more detail, the viewer becomes aware that a complex web of internal reduplications deflects attention away from that which, despite the status of photographs as imprints of the real, remain external to the image: Mirrors produce recursive effects of duplication.

They rely on drawing and occasionally model-making to act as a kind of intermediary between an idea and its realisation. Thanks for the message. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: It tells us in a photograph what a photograph is— en abyme. The mirror reflects not only the subject depicted, but also the entire photograph.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: He theorises that in this zone, there is the possibility of producing new, creative art. So, the photographer is part of the image, despite not being visible. Grospierre seems to share an enthusiasm for these twists of time and space. In my next post, I will look at some photographers who use mirrors in this way, and consider the test images I have taken craiig far.


It is not Florence but Manhattan—the city island laid out on a grid at the beginning photographj the nineteenth century and populated with austere skyscrapers in the twentieth—which provides this organising geometry.

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Each photograph records a special kind of mirror which reflects the image of everything around except the person looking in it. In fact, Grospierre combines these images with a Borgesian story about the development of a secret design by Polish scientists in the Second World War to fight the forces occupying the country.

Notify me of new comments via email. Even standing directly before the bright, reflective surface, the viewer—or for that matter the camera—will not appear. One fantasy which accompanies much contemporary architecture today is that of folded or warped structures made from vast sheets of material.

You are commenting using your WordPress. The viewer is presented with copies of an image within the same image. You are commenting using your Facebook account. They slowly propel their pool across the Atlantic by swimming synchronized laps from end to end. Philosopher Michel Serres would surely lend his backing: This portrait appears framed, seemingly hanging in the bathroom which appeared in the first image. Awkwardly tilted by axonometry, Grospierre supplies these devices with a fantastic provenance.

Lacking the telltale shadows of aerial photography, the mosaics of concrete and glass textures are emphatically flat. However, there is more to it than that.

So not much has been happening with my coursework for a while. It was built in the late s according to a design by Morris Lapidus an architect best known for his Miami hotels.

The strange duplications and reflected connections extend much further than this, but only add detail to the argument. We peer through the window to witness the inauguration of the work now fixed on a wall.


A change of plan – photography ‘en abyme’ | Holly’s OCA I&P Blog

Walking along the sidewalk, Grospierre himself carries the photographic print into the scene. In fact, the French novelist pointed to its historic place in art: At a superficial reading, it appears to be a standard image of a party scene, but as one looks at it in more detail, the viewer becomes aware that.

Hope you are making progress with yours. You are commenting using your Twitter account. The point is that the mirror references the analogical definition of the photograph as a mirror of reality. The young artist makes a work which will attract the attention of a Chelsea gallery. You are commenting using your WordPress.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Nothing illuminates the work better, or establishes its proportions more clearly. Email required Address never made public. This is an extract of an long essay on the work of photographer Nicolas Grospierre.

A change of plan – photography ‘en abyme’

Notify me of new posts via email. Folds and cuts give the enchanting illusion of immediacy and simplicity oqens the complex calculations and feats of engineering which are required to achieve these effects. In he created a series of photographs which seem to document scientific instruments. In some alternate version of history, perhaps they even function. Set in the centre of the image is a reflection of a figure in the window.

It is a complex lecture, and I kwens do not need to go into more detail than that for the purposes of this post.