Sunday, June 19, 2011

Semi-contemporary constructed reality photographer -- Jeff Wall

Biography: Jeff Wall was born in 1946 in Canada. He attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the Courtald Institute of Art, London. 

Significance: He helped define the Vancouver School movement, reacting to older conceptual art practices and mass media. He is also well known for his backlit photo-transparencies, many which are staged and reference art history.   

Concept, Aboutness, Idea: In the first picture above, Wall was referencing commercial window displays of clothing and furniture. He said they are very violent because of the punk influence that was filtering into culture/economy. He was also influenced by Delacroix's Death of Sardanapalus.

Method: He referenced window displays and constructed a narrative scene that depicts violence, aggression. 

Motivations:Wall said that the picture also had to do with aggression, violence, and revenge in domestic life. He was influenced by Delacroix and wanted to "pass my ideas and feelings through the historical prism of another work." He was trying to establish a space for himself by exploring history and what problems he wanted to address.

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