CHOREOGRAPHY OF THE BIG CITY IN CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY
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The main question addressed by the authoress is how stationary, two-dimensional images reflect a multidimensional urban reality perceived with a variety of senses. In the city there is only a moving constellation of elements, which together create constantly new combinations. The movement, characteristic of the street, produces a distinctly choreographed, rhythmic stopping and starting at traffic lights, disappearance into subways or traversing of the street on zebra-crossings. However the movement in question is not visually harmonic, but is filled with time-and space scratches just like sampling in music. The photography is used to question the identity of the city and develops its own methods of showing it without reducing the city to a symbol. The multiplication of similar elements in photographs evokes the sense that the picture discovers a new aural dimension: as in the example 'Hong Kong' Philip-Lorca di Corcia's where the repeated triangles of the passing legs conjures up the staccato rhythm of the steps. In a different way Gilbert & George introduce acoustics into their photographic works through the use of graffiti-writing. Their photographs are constructed after film-montage principles, juxtaposing miscellaneous images of the city with large graffitied letters of the alphabet spelling out swear words. Like in film, the montage questions the 'objective character' of photography as a medium. Both film and photography, are built not as a narrative continuity but through the montage of elements. The photographic image itself is like a pause in time and space. But it is not an empty space. Like improvisation in jazz music, the photographic image is an unexpected but calculated highpoint of the perception.
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