In 1977, Douglas Crimp presented the exhibition Pictures at the Artists Space gallery in New York. The exhibition brought together a heterogeneous group of works that were not limited to any particular medium, although they based on the use of images as a common denominator. In this regard, Crimp wrote: “Picture, used colloquially, is also nonspecific: a picture book might be a book of drawings or photographs, and in common speech, a painting, drawing, or print is often called, simply, a picture.”1 Since then, several decades have passed, and the problems related to the capture, reproduction, and use of images have become increasingly challenging. Contemporary culture must deal with pictures of all kinds, to which new questions arise. What makes an image significant? What elements distinguish the artistic image? What are the criteria that allow us to discern the aesthetic qualities of images?
About Images newsletter proposes a window to comment on the image and its processes in contemporary art, focusing on different modalities of photography and video, but also publications, archives, and institutions dedicated to safeguarding, studying and disseminating the vastest and ineffable legacy of our time. With a quarterly frequency, About Images newsletter will contain information, short texts, and interviews aimed at the local artistic community. In this first issue, we interview Gady Alroy, artmedia Studio Director, who addresses aspects related to the processes of photographic image reproduction. Curator José Antonio Navarrete comments the photography of Amanda Bradley. We also review several exhibitions in different areas of the city in which the photographic image has a significant role. Everything in this first issue is About images.
By: Félix Suazo
Douglas Crimp. “Pictures”, in October, Vol. 8 (Spring, 1979), pp. 75-88.
The real food
never looks like
the picture of
the super package.
But then I
show things as
they are and
get in trouble.”
“Vivimos rodeados de fotos falsas. La comida real nunca se parece a la foto del paquete del súper. Pero luego yo muestro las cosas tal y como son y me meto en líos”. Martin Parr: "Los fotógrafos de guerra son unos hipócritas". Gonzalo Suárez. 26 de marzo de 2018.
Interview with Gady Alroy
Gady Alroy, 2013 (Photograph by Mark Mann)
Image editor, gallery owner, and photographer, Gady Alroy is recognized for his sustained professional excellence, during several years, at the helm of artmedia GALLERY and STUDIO, a project initiated in Caracas and established later in Miami. In this interview conducted by About Images, Alroy responds to a series of issues related to the image processing, editing, and printing for archival fine art prints, based on his extensive experience in working with photography as a technical media focused on art production.
What criteria allow us to determine if an image has been
I start my answer taking into account technical aspects. We must ensure that white, neutral, and black dots are well balanced, which means —among other things— that whites have information, that neutrals are gray, and that blacks are not saturated. Also, the colors embodied in the image must correspond to the international color standards, a reference according to the illumination of sunlight. Besides, the image must have an optical resolution without interpolations; that is, the image must have the appropriate resolution for the copy size.
It is also necessary to consider discursive aspects. A good print is an interpretation, in terms of colors, lights, and shadows, of the artist’s conception, intention, and personal vision. Additionally, it must show the consistency in the tones of the body of work as a whole.
Is an edited image still “authentic”?
An image is always a visual construction. The edition, in terms of photographic manipulation, is a common discursive requirement for the artist. Achieving colors and, in general, image processing according to the needs of the artist is what makes the image authentic. The responsibility of the manipulator is to leave no trace of the touch-up.
What aspects prevail when editing an image: technical or conceptual?
Both. It begins by understanding how the artist conceives his work visually. My main goal as an image editor is to know why the artist requires my assistance and professional advice. In that interlocution, appropriate image digital treatments are carried out to achieve the artist’s purposes. I think of my role as a trained expert involved in a dynamic, efficient, and personalized attention to the artist.
Into the Memory
On Amanda Bradley
By José Antonio Navarrete
Amanda Bradley’s first exhibition, on view at artmedia GALLERY from November 15, 2019, to February 15, 2020 brings together a selection of the photographic body of work developed by the artist over the past four years. Titled as Further than Memory, Intimate Distances, this exhibit is a moment in the exploration, still in progress, that Amanda carries out into the relations between place, time, memory, belonging, and identity, seeing them through her own experience.
It could be said at the outset that the exhibition works practically as a single installation of images made up of small sets. Each set is located in a different wall of the room and, in some way, functions as an individual container of the discursive keys that the show proposes as a whole. Rather than building a narrative, Amanda creates a situation in which perception and sensibility stand on the difference —every image is different to the others— and the repetition —in every set there are, more or less, similar representational elements than in the others.
If place and time appear as the concepts that define the axis of Amanda’s work, it is because images refer both to the intimate space —the house— and to the outer space —the habitat— through a repertoire in which all the places concatenate each other and coexist simultaneously. That is, the artist proposes a visual construction that deactivates the possibility of photographies to function as points of an itinerary and cancels their specific time. So, place and time in Amanda’s work are compacted and condensed: all sites exist superimposed on each other at the same moment.
With this artistic strategy, Amanda displays her understanding of both personal memory and belonging, as well as identity, as multiple, cumulative, and de-hierarchized, which means equal to several, summative, and fluid.
In Rio de Janeiro, on January 17, abbot Louis A. Compte makes a public demonstration of the use of the daguerreotype, after having arrived from France on the ship L’Oriental.
American photographer Camillus Farrand makes in Ecuador an extensive series of stereoscopic views that are sold the following year by E. & H. T. Anthony, a business firm based in New York.
George Eastman patents the Kodak brand and launches a camera that uses reels with 100 negatives under the slogan “You press the button, we do the rest.”
In Buenos Aires, a group of men from the country’s social elite, under the initiative of landowner Francisco Ayerza, founds the Sociedad Fotográfica Argentina de Aficionados.
Creole brothers Alphonso (1887–1969) and Arthur Lisk-Carew open a photographic studio between 1903 and 1905 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. They work for both the African and the European communities and produce numerous images, including many postcards among them.
Editor Robert Lehmann-Nitsche publishes in Buenos Aires a collection of photographs by Guido Boggiani that document the aborigen population at the frontier between Brazil and Paraguay. The bilingual edition in German and Spanish languages is titled in the latter as La Colección Boggiani de tipos indígenas de Sudamérica Central.
The oldest survival Japanese photography magazine, Asahi Camera, is launched in April.
The use of photography as propaganda in Communist China is the goal of Expression Methods for Photographic Art, a book by Wu Yinxian published in Chinese by the Beijing Film Press.
Susan Sontang publishes the first of a series of essays on photography in the New York Review of Books, which she gathers in her book On Photography in 1977.
MoMA presents the exhibition Mirrors and Windows, under the curatorship of John Szarkowski.
The Gallimard Publishing House edits Lucid Chamber. Note on Photography, a book by Roland Barthes.
IBM introduces the first Smartphone, called Simon. BellSouth markets it.
Spanish photographer and theorist Joan Foncuberta publishes the book The Fury of Images. Notes on post-photography (Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, 2016).
Getty Images partners with VCG (Visual China Group) to spread the content of Corbis. With this operation, Getty Images consolidates its growing dominance in the global photographic industry and the VCG’s leadership in China.
1 Art after Stonewall, 1969—1989
Frost Art Museum, FIU
September 14, 2019 — January 5, 2020
Curated by: Jonathan Weinberg, with
Daniel Marcus and Drew Sawyer
Organized by: Columbus Museum of Art
Art after Stonewall highlights a wide array of performance, film, and video art, as well as photography, painting, sculpture, music, along with historical documents and images taken from magazines, newspapers, and television that explore the profound impact of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) liberation movement on visual culture.
2 Who? A Brief History of Photography through Portraiture (Part 2)
Norton Museum of Art
July 19 — December 10, 2019
The show presents a selection of approximately 50 works that traces the history of the medium through portraiture. Beginning with 19th-century daguerreotypes and albumen prints, and ending with 21st-century examples by artists such as Cathy Opie, Nikki S. Lee, and Daniel Gordon, these works examine the reciprocal influences between photography and the portrait.
3 Notice in a Mutable Terrain
October 18 — November, 2019
Group exhibition where the photographic image has an important presence. Organized by Miami-based, Haitian-born artist Adler Guerrier. Works by: Cecilia Bonilla, Amanda Bradley, Adler Guerrier, Quisqueya Henríquez, Pepe Mar, Kathleen Hudspeth, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, G. A. Jakubovics, Rolf Julius, T. Eliott Mansa, Cinthia Marcelle, Marron et Masqué, Terence Price II, Karen Rifas, Anastasia Samoylova, Onajide Shabaka, and Jean Williamceau.
4 Where the Oceans Meet
Museum of Art And Design (MOAD)
May 26, 2019 — January 12, 2020
Where the Oceans Meet is an exhibition of modern art, contemporary art, and archival material, that resonates with the pioneering thought of two Caribbean writers, Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant. Among the selected works are several photographic pieces, where the medium has a double function as a document and as a means of creative expression. Exhibition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Asad Raza, Gabriela Rangel, and Rina Carvajal.