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Reframing Photography: Theory And Practice

Rebekah Modrak's work as a visual artist involves a struggle between the expected uses of a particular technology or history and her desire to employ that knowledge or system in unintended ways that support the messier dynamics of life. Modrak's original experiments in photography led her to question how the one-point perspective of "reality through a viewfinder" presumes to represent our experience of sight. This work, incorporating photographic images applied to three-dimensional forms, ranges from a series of over life-sized figures to portrait busts. The photographic "skin" in combination with the soft three-dimensional structure it was applied to creates complex portraits of individuals, revealing empathetic character traits through sculptural position, while employing photography's descriptive potential through compound images that document the minutiae of a given sitter with the hyper detail seen through the lens as it captures not only facial expression, but visceral specifics of hair texture and skin quality. As Modrak manipulated photographs to the will of the three-dimensional creatures, she recognized a lapse between this approach to media and the available texts about photography studio practice. In 2011, Modrak published, Reframing Photography, a book that redefines photography (theory, history, and technique) as a more expansive practice utilized by various types of artists, some who do not necessarily define themselves as photographers.[2]

Reframing Photography: Theory and Practice

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With a background in art history and the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, Bill Anthes teaches and writes about modern and contemporary art in terms of multimedia practice and intercultural exchange. His published work has focused on Native North American art and on the history and theory of photography. His book on the Cheyenne-Arapaho contemporary artist Edgar Heap of Birds will be published by Duke University Press in 2015. He is currently participating in collaborative global projects on indigenous modernisms and on art history in settler colonial nations, and is developing a new project on contemporary art and the non-human.

Aiming to explore the contemporary relations between photography and time, through an interdisciplinary approach from those with a background in history and theory of photography, cultural and art history, anthropology, philosophy, curating and visual practice, or any other discipline that engages in the thinking of photography, the symposium welcomes proposals for 15-minute presentations in two possible formats:

The module will combine theory and practice, with a strong emphasis on the latter. Students will consider the way that knowledge of photographic genres can help them to position their work, can enable them to target particular markets for their work and there will be abundant opportunities for students to put their knowledge into practice by creating work within particular genres and deploying it to enhance their profiles as photographers. Global perspectives will be useful as will mobile photography. 041b061a72

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