Two posts back I mentioned two concepts of the picture. The second one—broken, fugitive, moving, unstable—has a definite relation to the most profound idea in modern photography, the “decisive moment.” You could even connect it to street photography in particular, because it’s objects are always moving away, which is a metaphorical way of saying they are always changing. However, I don’t get it from photography, but from the temporally intense tradition in American painting—Pollock, Frankenthaler, Louis, Smithson. Motherwell is also a relevant figure, especially works like his Lyric Suite. Still, the photographic connection is very interesting.

The conflict is between the established powers of painting, which one would be foolish to oppose, and the modern new; between stable structures and slippery life. The question is whether, in the context of a work of visual art, that second position can be ever be anything other than a metaphor.

Frank Stella, The Earthquake in Chile (collage) 1998 (detail right side)

Frank Stella, The Earthquake in Chile (collage) 1998 (detail right side)

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One Response to Snapshot

  1. Martin Mugar says:

    Glad to hear you are trying to sort out Stella.I quoted you on John Bunker’s abstractCrit.
    Did you come across my essay on Stella.
    I see we agree on Richter. You once commented on this blogpost :where I said about Richter:

    “To seal becoming with the character of being. That is the supreme ‘Will to Power’ “. This statement by Nietzsche might be of help in sorting out what these modern artists are after. What it means is the following: Will to impress emphatically the individual presence in such a way that its power eliminates any other entity being part of the whole. In the end there is the winner and the winner creates or pushes into the background or rather completely out of site the loser.(kind of sounds like Trump?)

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