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Towards a photographic sublime, 1982-2000

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Stephenson, DM (2001) Towards a photographic sublime, 1982-2000. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

From 1982 to 2000 a number of related series of artworks were developed
which collectively explored both the problem of an evocation of the
sublime, and questions of photographic representation. Over this
nineteen year period various pictorial approaches were investigated for
their potential to interrogate these issues. In the mid 1980s an academic
background in nineteenth-century landscape painting and photography
informed my representations of the sublime in the Tasmanian wilderness
landscape, by drawing on nineteenth-century pictorial motifs such as the
figure and the panorama, but reconfiguring them within a late twentiethcentury
constructivist mode which sought to challenge codes of
transparency in the photographic culture. From the late 1980sthrough the
early 1990s my photographs were increasingly informed by an exploration
of reductive abstraction, in an attempt to expand the metaphoric
possibilities of the photograph, and continue to challenge cultural
assumptions of photographic veracity. Fieldwork in both the Arctic and
Antarctica was conducted in a search for minimal environmental settings.
Over the 1990s images of the sky led to an investigation of related
architectural settings, and strategies of abstraction coupled with a rigorous
seriality created by systematic visual procedures led to the development of
larger scale installation works composed of many similar constituent
images. These various series were published nationally and overseas
through numerous individual and curated group exhibitions, with
reproductions of images in associated catalogs and books, thereby making
a significant contribution to the field of contemporary photography.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

Copyright the Author

Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2011 03:16
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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