David Nolan Gallery presents And What About Photography?, an exhibition featuring work by a group of international artists: Broomberg & Chanarin, David Hartt, Trevor Paglen, Tim Portlock, and Davide Tranchina.
Curated by Walter Guadagnini, photography historian and Director of CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, Turin, Italy, the exhibition investigates the current state of photography in relation to new emerging technologies as well as its inherent ambiguity. The emergence of digital imaging in the final decades of the 20th century, and the development of other forms of image making and circulation has made this ambiguity even more palpable, necessitating renewed investigation of the basis of photographic language. Unsurprisingly, scholars and artists, such as Fred Ritchin, Quentin Bajac, and Joan Fontcuberta, have used the term ‘post-photography’ in the early years of the 21st century to describe the defining ideas and practices of our era.
The exhibition explores some of these aspects firstly from a technical, and secondly from an iconographic viewpoint. The artists featured in the show, all born between the late 1960s and the early 1970s, grew up during the technological transformation, and today they all use processes that share little or nothing with traditional photographic practices, or with the device that for decades enabled the very possibility of a photographic image – the camera. Broomberg & Chanarin and Davide Tranchina operate without cameras, giving new life and associations to practices dating back to the origins of photography. Trevor Paglen adopts artificial intelligence techniques to modify images in a visionary manner. David Hartt, who might initially appear more faithful to established practices, has woven his image into a gigantic tapestry that recalls the glorious tradition of pre-cinematic bird’s-eye view panoramas, utilizing an art form that flourished in pre-photographic cultures. Tim Portlock adopts a 3D animation technology that is not photographic but uses photography as a model to question its alleged truthfulness, creating worlds in-between reality and fiction.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)