Jeff Wall

As part of Project 1 Setting the Scene for the final section of Context and Narrative, I have elected to make short notes for my review on the photographers mentioned in this section. The first one we are directed to look at is Jeff Wall.

© Jeff Wall | A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) 1993
© Jeff Wall | A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) 1993
  • Tableau photographer
  • Uses large format cameras
  • Method of photography is known as “cinematography”
  • Displays images in huge lightboxes
  • Works in collaboration with assistants and a cast
  • Sets can take a long time to build (mise-en-scène)
  • Photographs moments he has seen, remembers and recreates at a later time. This is crucial to his artistic freedom
  • Researches the props and tries to get the same vintage/period elements to use in the photos
  • Influenced by literature, specifically nineteenth-century French author Baudelaire, philosophy and paintings
  • Creates an image that questions what happened before the ‘moment’ and what could happen after it
  • Refers to his photographs as:

‘prose poems’,a description that emphasises how each picture should be experienced rather than used to illustrate a pre-determined idea or a specific narrative’. The prose poem format allows any truth claims of the photograph – the facts we expect from journalistic photography – to remain suspended, and Wall believes that in that suspension the viewer experiences pleasure.

White Cube

Reference List

Jeff Wall [online] White Cube. Available from: http://whitecube.com/artists/jeff_wall/ [Accessed 23 February, 2016]

Jeff Wall: Pictures Like Poems [webcast, online]. Louisiana Channel. 37 mins 58 secs. 08/04/2015 Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkVSEVlqYUw (accessed 12/03/2016)

Bibliography

Jeff Wall: room guide, room 6 [online]. Tate Modern. Available from: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/jeff-wall/room-guide/jeff-wall-room-6 [Accessed 23 February, 2016]

Jeff Wall 1946 – [online] National Gallery of Canada. Available from: https://www.gallery.ca/en/see/collections/artist.php?iartistid=5764 [Accessed 23 February, 2016]

O’Hagan, Sean (2013). Jeff Wall: ‘I’m haunted by the idea that my photography was all a big mistake’ [online]. The Guardian. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/nov/03/jeff-wall-photography-marian-goodman-gallery-show [Accessed 23 February, 2016]

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