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An investigation of the relationship between the material and illusionary aspects of the photograph


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Puglielli, E 2006 , 'An investigation of the relationship between the material and illusionary aspects of the photograph', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This project is an investigation of the relationship between the
image of a photograph and the paper on which it is printed. It
addresses transmission and reception caused by the
interconnection of symbols (image) and object (paper substrata).
It can be observed that the major exchange with a photograph is
mostly a symbolic one. The power of the image engulfs us,
overshadowing the material nature of the paper object, creating the
perception that there is something non-material about the
photograph. There has been a continual 'de-materialising' of the
photograph over its history. This is due to many factors. including
the evolution in the materials used as substrata, the effect of
supports such as frames and albums, the half-tone process in print
media, as well as different uses and viewing contexts including
those of museums, collectors and conceptual artists. These factors
have created an inconsistent and unstable relationship with the
material of the photograph, resulting in a diminishing appreciation of
its object qualities, particularly when reading the image. To explain
this situation I reference writers including Roland Barthes and
Geoffrey Batchen and artists of relevance including Jan Dibbets,
Mel Bochner, Doug and Mike Starn, Joachim Schmid and Gottfried
Sanding and ripping are used in this project to explore the
association between image and the material of the photograph.
Such processes alter the viewer's usual relationship with a
photograph by highlighting the material. Sanding confuses the
surface and requires close scrutiny to determine what is image and
what is paper. Actual rips are combined with images of rips to create
a similar flux between real and faux. The work incorporates the
materiality of the photograph and the image so that the two are read
in unison, making their separation difficult.
This project sets out to highlight the problematic relationship
between the image and material of a photograph. It does this by
confounding the viewer's escape into imagery through self referencing
the photograph and enhancing its material. These
devices constantly remind us of the object qualities of the work. It
produces a dialogue and contemplation around the relationship
between material and image. It raises issues regarding the meaning
engendered by the material of the photograph, as well as issues
about originality, aura, reproduction and commodity. The paradoxes
and ironies associated with the photograph are highlighted, adding
to an ongoing dialogue about the role and importance of the
photographic in our culture.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Puglielli, E
Keywords: Photography, Abstract, Photography, Artistic, Art and photography
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2006 the author

Additional Information:

Available for library use only but NOT for copying until 30 January 2008. After that date, available for use in the Library and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references

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