April 24, 2012
Since the weather was no good for photography at Victor Harbor I've spent the afternoon working on a section of my Victor Harbor book in which reference is made to the photographs of Ed Ruscha
Ed Ruscha, Union, Needles, California, from Twentysix Gasoline Stations
This particular text was important in art history terms---in the context of American-style formalism, Abstract Expressionism and Colour Field painting--as Ruscha started from architecture as referent, deployed photography systematically as the representational medium, and developed a new form of distribution, ie., the commercially produced book as opposed to the white cube art galley.
The mode of photography chosen was explicitly situated as much outside of all conventions of art photog- raphy as outside of those of the venerable tradition of documentary photogra- phy, least of all that of "concerned" photography. This was a deadpan, anonymous, amateurish approach to photographic form that was referenced by the New Topographics movement in the US in the 1970s.