Liz Deschenes, Marvin Heiferman, Liz Magic Laser and Penelope Umbrico in ‘Art in America’

March 30, 2012

The March issue of Art in America is devoted to examining the state of contemporary photography, raising questions such as, “Is photography still a distinct medium?” and “Does photography still have limits?” To help sort through these questions, the magazine tapped prominent curators, dealers, and artists for answers, and SVA faculty members take center stage.

MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department and BFA Photography Department faculty member Penelope Umbrico reflects on the anonymity of photographs in a limitless digital age and her 2011 work Signals Still/TVs from Craigslist is featured on the cover of the magazine.”Pictures are not still anymore…” writes Umbrico. “The image torrent is actually alive, emergent and perhaps more indexical than photography has ever been in the past.”

In an interview, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department faculty member Liz Deschenes discusses her new series of photographs (currently on view in the Whitney Biennial) and the evolution of her practice. When asked about the connections she makes between her work that focuses on the mechanical process of creating photos and installations, Deschenes says, “I think both aspects of my practices have always existed. Over time, and through the accumulation of installations, I’ve been able to remove some of the more peripheral or external concerns that I previously used to give people access to my work.”

BFA Fine Arts faculty member Liz Magic Laser writes some thoughts on her unease with the interview form (something she also explored in her critically acclaimed piece for Performa 11 I Feel Your Pain) and what it means for artists. Laser noted that most interviews seem forced and unnatural since they ask artists to stand outside of their work to talk about their “real” intentions.

In his feature article entitled “Think and Shoot,” MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department faculty member Marvin Heiferman writes about the exhibition “Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964 – 1977,” which was recently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago. “What makes ‘Light Years’ so timely is the fact that—with digital technology radically transforming the definition of and our relationship to photographic imagining—it’s clearly time to rethink what photography is, and can be, again,” he writes.

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