The text is about the photography's expanded field by George Baker. He think the camera could catch some great moments in the history of photography or the history of cinema. Like Andy Warhol, he catch the moments of car wreck.
This work by Nancy Davenport consists entirely of a scanned series of photos and was positioned as the introductory piece otherwise given over to digital photographic prints. It's like a static moving-image work.
George Baker thinks there's a crisis of photographic object and the photography itself has been foreclosed and abandoned. Like Jeff Wall's The Storyteller (1986), which reconcile photography with an older medium like history painting rather than revenge to traditional artistic mediums as former photography.
George Baker thinks that more and more artist allow the photography to be recoded in turn rather than use photography to recode other practises. The medium today seems a lamentable expedient.
Actually, George Baker got the idea of photography's expanded field from the essay 'Sculpture in expanded field' by Rosalind E. Krauss. So Backer also want to describe the hesitation between motion and stasis, where the photography could be reconstructed.
Baker thinks the object of photography slipped away and we need to expand more fields. And there's a tearing of photography between oppositional extremes, narrative and stasis, it's also a kind of structural condition for modernist photography.
In Krauss's essay, she thinks modernist sculpture of 'not-landscape' and 'not-architecture is the thing in the landscape that is not landscape or that thing in the architecture that is not architecture. Baker paraphrases her structure: if modernist photography was caught between 2 negations, then this opposition of negative terms easily generates a similar opposition but expressed positively. The not-narrative is another way of expressing the term stasis, and the not-stasis is narrative
Like this work by Cindy Sherman, it's a kind of static photographs, but it were also involved to a cultural field of codes and other forces of what Baker was calling not-stasis
James Coleman's works based directly on narrative cinema, but it also freeze the cinematic forms of movement into projection of still images, which is Baker called not-narrative.
So it seems that we could complete the expanded field. The modernist photography is the thing in the narrative that is not-narrative or that thing in the stasis that is not-stasis. While when I mentioned before, they are equal-crossed, so Wall occupied the complex axis of photography's expanded field. Baker also thinks that we should trace the life and potential transformation of a former medium's expanded field, deal with more a structural field of new formal and cultural possibilities.
Baker also called projected images is 'still film', like James Coleman's work; and the 'cinematic photography' is 'film still', like Cindy Sherman's work. The expended field of photography is occupied by a kind of digital montage.
The 'film still' in contemporary art lies into a more fully cultural field. Like Sharon Lockhart, he used a single still image to relate a simultaneous film project.
And in Day for Night, Christiana, Danish artist Joachim Koester used the blue filters to open the still image onto manipulations from other cultural areas. And Bakers thinks that new forms will be created in each position within the field. Many artists will now occupy opposing and quite different positions within this expanded field.
Like Douglas Gordon's 'slowed' films, he reducde the narrative cinematic product to a slow film which playtimes could be 24 hours or even a time span of years. He could occupy the position of the 'still film'. And Tacita Dean, she frozen films and occupy the position of narrative and not-narrative. Compared with Lockhart, she did more practices to still photography. These 3 artists, none of them will correspond.
Baker also think that it is possible for us to image other expanded fields of photography. Like Gabriel Orozco's work, which involved into a fully spatial (as opposed to temporal) expansion of photograph. Anyway, we should map the possibilities of photographic fields, but also deconstruct its potential closure and further open its multiple logics. The photographer's lines could extended in every direction.