Fotograf Magazine

Text and Image

Rereading Conceptual Art

In 1969, the artist Douglas Huebler famously asserted, “I use the camera as a ‘dumb’ copying device that only serves to document whatever phenomena appears before it through the conditions set by a system. No ‘aesthetic’ choices are possible.”[ref]Douglas Huebler, Prospect 69 exhibition catalog statement, October, 1969, cited in Jack Burnham, “Alice’s Head: Reflections on Conceptual Art.” Artforum (February 1970): p. 41.[/ref] Likewise, Ed Ruscha, discussing the images in his 1960s’ photo books, disclaimed any relation to art photography, insisting that “they are technical data like industrial photography … nothing more than snapshots.”[ref]Cited John Coplans, “Ed Ruscha Discusses His Perplexing Publications,” Artforum (February 1965): p. 25.[/ref]

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