Fotograf Magazine

#2 collective authorship

The format of a print magazine does not really allow us to showcase electronic works, in which group signatures become a ‘natural’ and a clearly appreciable trend. In a certain sense, this is for the best: too much evidence of this phenomenon could obscure its markedly understated presence elsewhere – in the field of photography, for instance. In an interesting way, photography calls attention to the opposition between the abstracted and ideal antipodes of traditional and new media (and the corresponding methods of production, reception and circulation of artifacts), as it represents a sort of a transition zone in which, though many tendencies might be implicit and marginal, they are in fact much more effective than any sort of brash proclamation. Even though the idea of the ‘death of the author’ might seem to be a rather stale phrase, the solitary genius survives not only in the collective consciousness, but in the practice of art history and criticism: collective authorship, which has been a part of photography from its very beginnings, is an obstacle historians try to get rid of and a challenge to ascertain the extent to which different parties have participated, to pinpoint individual signature traits on the basis of which authorship can be clearly ascribed to particular individuals. Our intention here is not to discredit these efforts in the gross, but rather to call attention to the fact that perhaps what is at issue is not a lack of information, an anomaly, or some sort of mistake, but a system of values and functions quite different from those which gave rise to these methods.

#2 Collective Authorship — Portfolios

Aziz & Cucher

Any discussion of the photographs of Aziz + Cucher necessarily starts and ends outside of the field of photography. It is not just that in creating   their images the couple uses traditional ‘analogue’ photographs solely as a ‘raw material’ that is later reworked in a computer into the final image…

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#2 Collective Authorship — Portfolios

Blume

At the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, a wave of movements that were to determine the thrust of European creation in the field for the next few decades hit the art scene. Whether the older minimalist groups like Zero and Fluxus; the happenings of Nam June Paik, Emmet Williams and the like; the individualist mythology of Joseph Beuys or the new approaches in painting of Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer, all of these movements were fundamental in the development of contemporary art…

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#2 Collective Authorship — Portfolios

Eva & Adele

Few living artists can equal the international fame attained by Eva & Adele. For ten years now these artists have formed one single hermaphroditic character. They have captured attention with their public appearances at all the big contemporary art happenings – the Venice and Lyon Biennials, the openings of Documenta and Manifesta, not to mention nearly all the major contemporary art fairs around the globe…

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#2 Collective Authorship — Portfolios

Jasanský & Polák

The results of the collaboration dating back to 1986 between Lukáš Jasanský and Martin Polák are in almost perfect harmony with the principle governing the medium they use: they are obvious at first glance and yet often contain a quite subversive and even conspiratorial subtext which radically puts in doubt and quiets first reactions to their work…

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#2 Collective Authorship — Profiles

AES

The name of this group is derived from the first letters of the surnames of three artists: Tatiana Arzamasova (b. 1955), Lev Evzovich (b. 1958) and E. Svyatsky (b. 1957). These three Muscovites of the middle generation started to work together as a group in 1987…

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