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November 28, 2007 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Exploring nature ("Trees" by Myoung Ho Lee) and structure (installations by Esther Stocker).
posted by klangklangston (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A blog post discussing Myoung's use of backdrops.
posted by klangklangston at 3:09 PM on November 28, 2007

Though the rest of the is pretty neat, and deals with the same concepts. (Except her photo/video work, which I don't care for as much).
posted by klangklangston at 3:38 PM on November 28, 2007

Whoa! nice.
posted by tellurian at 3:38 PM on November 28, 2007

The second link feels like she put Sol LeWitt's work in a box and shook it really hard, but I love the photos in the first link.
posted by gwint at 4:03 PM on November 28, 2007

Myoung Ho Lee's work was the subject of this AskMe question.
posted by Pastabagel at 4:40 PM on November 28, 2007

"A blog post discussing Myoung's use of backdrops."

This is why, as a professional photographer, I try not to look at too many of these really arty people's work. I'm afraid that I'll start putting up backdrops behind stuff, and taking pictures of burnt out heroin addicted girls in lace inside of old opera houses, and all the other stuff that is visually compelling for about 10 seconds until you realize that it's all been done before and would make every single of the f/64 group hurl out their guts in shame.
posted by Sukiari at 4:48 PM on November 28, 2007

Reading the blog post about Myoung's use of the backdrop made me wonder if the work is also about the creation of an artifical negative space that renders the otherwise natural negative space of a photography into positive space. In other words, without the backdrops, the sky would be negative space, for example, but with the backdrop, the sheet exclusively becomes the negative space, and everything outside the sheet becomes positive space (or perhaps the matte of the photo?), including the sky, ground etc. The positive space extends into the negative space via the solitary tree. So in a way the sheet extends the matte (in this case the rectangular area outside the sheet) or border into the photo, which perhaps is a way of commenting on the use of mattes in the presentation of photographs. The idea isn't really gelled in my mind, but there's a lot going on in these photos.

For example, the use of the sheet seems to create an odd sense of depth and dimension - the tree seems to pop out and above of the common plane of the sheet and the non-sheet background.

Thanks for the post, klangklangston.
posted by Pastabagel at 4:51 PM on November 28, 2007

That blog post is interesting; there's some great old botany and sculptural photos that they compare to Myoung's work. It also has some thought-provoking analysis of the snippet of analysis given on the lensculture site.

I think that the placing of Myoung's work in a photographic tradition of "isolating the subject" is spot on, but also more compatible with the "postmodern" analysis on the lensculture site than the blog post seems to indicate. Photography often lurks on the edges of meta-ness precisely because the artistic aspect of a photo lies not in making, but in the capturing, in the setting-apart of some previously existing object. Basically, the tree isn't art until it's subject of the photo, and Myoung's great white backdrops emphasize their subject-ness. But this emphasis only works given the context of a long tradition of backgrounds and "subject isolation" in photography-- if it weren't for the fact that we recognize the backdrop as part and parcel of the photographer's trade, Myoung's photos would just be trees with random white sheets. The photographic tradition allows the viewer to interpret "thing in front of sheet" as "subject of photo", and only after such an initial identification has been made is it possible to reach the postmodern conclusion that, somehow, the real subject of the photo is the concept "subject of photo".
posted by matematichica at 4:54 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've only recently begun to makes friends with the camera again and find this really inspiring. Thanks for the post and the great comments too.

the sheet exclusively becomes the negative space,

Myoung's great white backdrops emphasize their subject-ness.

posted by snsranch at 5:31 PM on November 28, 2007

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