Let’s not play this too safe. It’s easy to talk about photography like it’s just one thing, but that’s not really an accurate picture. Not anymore. There’s lens-less photography, there’s camera-less photography, there are photographs manipulated far beyond the ‘moment’ they were captured, there are artists who work with photographs without ever taking a single shot themselves. Art is meant to push, and within the field of photography, there’s a lot of heated pushing and shoving.
But that’s not a bad thing. As the photographer protagonist in Antonioni’s classic movie Blow-Up says: “Nothing like a little disaster for sorting things out.”
It sometimes takes a fight to know where you stand. And, following any good fight, it can be very tempting to plant yourself on one side of the fence or another, defending fiercely any ground you’ve got. Somehow, the space on which you’re standing always seems to have more integrity, by virtue of your occupation. The real skill of artistry, however, is to continuously find a new place to stand. To ignore the fences entirely.
When thinking of the field known as photography, more fluid than formal, we wanted to take a look at artists who like colouring outside the lines. Photographers who are mixing it up.
Let’s not forget: even when used for issues of great seriousness, photography is a beautiful playground.
Katherine Oktober Matthews, Chief Editor