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Basic Critical Theory for Photographers by Ashley la Grange

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8 Andy Grundberg, The Crisis of the Real

Grundberg notes that the notion of post-modernism is confusing and poses a number of questions. What is post-modernist art? How does it relate to photography as it has been conventionally seen, by the photo-historian Beaumont Newhall for example? Why is it so unsettling?

Numerous definitions of post-modernism have been suggested and all probably contain a degree of truth. Grundberg asks, ‘Is it a method, like the practice of using images that already exist? Is it an attitude, like irony? Is it an ideology, like Marxism?’ (p. 1). Or a plot by a group of artists, dealers, and critics to undermine the art establishment and enrich themselves? He goes on to say that he wants to show that it is more than simply ...

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