Liz Deschenes

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Ordinary Pictures


Despite its apparent throwaway status, the stock image comprises the primary commodity of a billion-dollar global industry with far-reaching effects in the marketplace and the public sphere. Taking this overlooked facet of contemporary life as a point of departure, “Ordinary Pictures” explores the photographic apparatuses and commercial interests that have given rise to our generic image culture through the conceptual image-based work of some 40 artists, including John Baldessari, Steven Baldi, Sarah Charlesworth, Anne Collier, Liz Deschenes, John Divola, Aleksandra Domanovi c, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Morgan Fisher, Hollis Frampton, Jack Goldstein, Rachel Harrison, Robert Heinecken, Leslie Hewitt, Elad Lassry, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Steve McQueen, Jack Pierson, Peter Piller, Seth Price, Amanda Rossotto, Ed Ruscha, Steven Shore, Sturtevant, Mungo Thomson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tseng Kwong Chi, Julia Wachtel and Christopher Williams. Spanning generations, movements and artistic strategies from the 1960s to the present day, this publication brings together works by artists who have probed, mimicked and critiqued this aspect of our visual environment as well as its industrial modes of production and distribution. Through the work of these artists and a series of scholarly essays, the catalogue aims to examine different operations of the generic image in culture, namely its anonymous circulation and editorial uses, its adaptability and reproducibility, its technical processes of production, its claim to copyright and artistic license and its tendency toward abstraction. Featuring a unique, coil-bound design reminiscent of stock photo catalogues and a flexidisc recording by the artist Jack Goldstein, this highly collectible book ultimately reflects on contemporary art’s own complicit function as an expanding industrial image economy.

Edited by Eric Crosby, texts by Lane Relyea and Thomas Beard.

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Ordinary Pictures
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Liz DeschenesLiz Deschenes

Liz Deschenes
Secession


Liz Deschenes’ first monograph, presented in conjunction with her exhibition at Secession, December 7, 2012 – February 10, 2013, features a range of works spanning much of the artist’s career. This one hundred page, richly illustrated publication includes an interview between Bettina Spörr and Liz Deschenes, and texts by Johanna Burton and Ruth Horak.

Deschenes’s photographic oeuvre deals with the conditions of photography and its components, with perception and the correlation to other artistic media, and with the architecture within which her works are shown. These works allow a self-referential look at the medium, liberated of its functions, taking its own conditions as its theme. For some years now, Deschenes has been working almost exclusively with photograms—pictures created without a camera which, traditionally, served to capture silhouettes by placing objects on photosensitive paper exposing it to light. Deschenes does without these external references: the works made by exposing photographic paper for several hours, out of doors, mostly at night, before fixing and treating them with toners. Deschenes’s photograms change, they oxidize, their colors shift, they are in a constant state of flux. This relates her current work to earlier explorations of color and monochromy, which are also presented in the book.

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Liz Deschenes - Secession
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The Anxiety of PhotographyThe Anxiety of Photography

The Anxiety of Photography


The pervasive use of photography by Conceptual artists, and a generation later by artists of the so-called Pictures Generation, effectively ended any debate about the validity of photography operating legitimately within the sphere of contemporary art. Photography’s undefined, in-between status, as a medium, a tool, an object, a practice is still, unresolved. ‘The Anxiety of Photography’ examines the growing number of artists – some of whom self-identify as photographers, others for whom photography is central to their work – who embrace photography’s plasticity, having internalized an expanded collage aesthetic and digested various ideas of appropriation. Among the artists included are Liz Deschenes, Roe Ethridge, Matt Keegan, Annette Kelm, Elad Lassry, Anthony Pearson, and Mark Wyse.

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The Anxiety of Photography
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