Heterogeneous Objects provides various essays that explore the encounter of photography with other media since the 1960s. The essays offer new ways of thinking about photography beyond modernist notions of medium specificity and autonomy based upon the idea that a photograph does not rely on a coherent system of codes but is almost always encountered as a fragmented, partial object.
In and Out of Brussels examines four Brussels-based artistic projects that converge in critically investigating the figuration of Africa in the image economy of the West: Herman Asselberghs's Speech Act (2011), Sven Augustijnen's Spectres (2011), Renzo Martens's Episode III - Enjoy Poverty (2009) and Els Opsomer's Building Stories #001 [That Distant Piece of Mine] (2013).
The notion of the minor, developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in Kafka, Towards a Minor Literature (1975), is introduced and connected here for the very first time to the field of photography theory. Deleuze and Guattari defined minor literature in terms of deterritorialization, politicization and collectivization. By transferring ‘the minor' to the medium of photography, this book enlarges the idea of ‘the minor' and opens it up to all kinds of mutations in the process.
Since the late 1960s, Peter Downsbrough (1940) has been an important figure in contemporary art, associated with major international art movements such as minimal art, conceptual art, and visual poetry. In his artistic work, Peter Downsbrough explores various fields including sculpture, architecture, books, film, and photography.
Photographic images can, apart from their capacity to show, convey an experience, a quality that has seldom been recognized. In this book the artist and photographer Maarten Vanvolsem explains how the strip technique can tell a different story of time and space in photographic images, a story that leads to new expressions and experiences of time and movement. The strip technique itself seems to be neglected in the debate on time and photography, although it has a long history. Its use is widespread and, especially in recent years, more and more artists rediscover the technique.
Despite our stereotypical ideas on photographic images as snapshots (slices of time), photography is fundamentally a time-based medium. The relationships between photography and time are manifold: time can be directly represented within the image, it can be its theme and philosophical horizon, but it can also represent the global framework in which photographic practices develop and change through time.
Highly influential both as an artist and as a theoretician Victor Burgin figures amongst the most insightful thinkers on visual culture in recent times. His writings focus on the production of meanings and affects through images – at the intersections of subjective desire and sociopolitical organization – and cross a diversity of representational practices (photography, film, painting, advertising, television, the internet) and theoretical fields (semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, cultural studies).
How do we relate the body we have and the bodies we see to the mind, or to the soul? Fluid Flesh addresses the relationship between the body, religion, and the visual arts, which is one of both love and tension. Are we able (and allowed) to think of the divine in a corporeal way? Isn’t artistic expression, which originated from both the human mind and body, intrinsically a bodily matter.
This book examines a recurrent question in recent literature on the use of the photographic medium in contemporary art. It is concerned with the multiformity of ways the photograph manifests itself in diverse artistic practices today, and with the consequences of this situation for photography’s critical potential. Central to this discussion is the question whether photography has a hybrid or chameleonic character because it can be part of entirely different mixed-media works of art.
Henri Van Lier's contribution to the field of photography is comparable, in its scope as well as in its achievements, to the work of all those we now consider being the great modern classics: Walter Benjamin, André Bazin, André Malraux, John Berger, Susan Sontag, or Roland Barthes.