Utopia/Dystopia

Construction and Destruction in Photography and Collage

By Yasufumi Nakamori; Graham Bader
(Museum Fine Arts Houston, Paperback, 9780300179606, 115pp.)

Publication Date: April 2012

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Description

From the time of its invention, photography has enabled artists not only to capture the world around them but also to create worlds of their own. "Utopia/Dystopia" investigates how artists from the late 19th century to the present have used photographic fragments or techniques to represent political, social, or cultural states of utopia or dystopia. Artists have employed a number of strategies to this end, such as cutting, fragmenting, and puncturing images as well as reassembling those culled from ready-made materials or giving a subject multiple exposures. The resulting photographs, photocollages, photomontages, and other creations question the validity of seamless pictorial images, and attempt to dismantle the notion of photography as an objective medium.

This publication features approximately forty-five exemplary works by artists such as Herbert Bayer, John Heartfield, Hannah Hoch, Arata Isozaki, El Lissitzky, Carter Mull, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Vik Muniz, Man Ray, Okanoue Toshiko, and many others. Also included are essays that offer new ways of thinking about photography's uses and implications.




About the Author


Graham Bader is Mellon Assistant Professor of Art History at Rice University. He is the editor of the October Files volume "Roy Lichtenstein" (MIT Press, 2009).
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