Sex, Death and the History of Photography PDF
Written by Karl Baden   

 

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Sex, Death and the History of Photography is a series of photomontages from the 1980's, done using traditional methods of darkroom and collage. Back then, I described the work as follows:

 

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The modus operandi is simple and straightforward: using an x-acto knife and dry-mounting tissue, I combine and re-photograph images from a single photographer or images by two or more photographers, creating a pastiche which, visually and/or metaphorically, comments on the original photographs, photographers and, perhaps, their connection to larger issues in photography and culture. My choice of images is inspired by a variety of factors, including historical compatibility, cultural significance and visual effect. Sometimes I combine photographs because I'm not quite sure what their cumulative effect will be until combined. Other times, it is simply that, visually, the combination gives me a jolt or makes me smile. Humor, perhaps satire, seems always to be a part of the way I work, a reflection of my sensibilities. Issues regarding the history of photography and its relation to culture are more complex. I try to allow the work an open-endedness that goes beyond both the joke and the cultural issues raised.

 

 

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It is natural for me, as a photographer, to be aware (sometimes painfully) of the ability to sensationalize, dominate and possess which the camera offers its operator and audience. To a degree, then, these pictures are the result of my own efforts to understand the push and pull of those circumstances. However, I don't pretend to offer solutions. If I did possess the answers, I probably would not be compelled to generate the work.

 

 

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Comments (6)
  • karl baden  - thanks
    thanks, walter!
    you might enjoy www.CoveringPhotography.com as well.
    best
    kb
  • Walter Johnson  - Interested
    Hello, I find your images to be of wit, & humor, as well as thought provoking. I had taught the history of photography at the Ohio State University for many years, and enjoyed your use of known images in a new and refreshing way.

    Please do stay in touch.

    Walter
  • karl baden  - thanks
    thanks, walter!
    you might like this, as well:
    www.coveringphotography.com
    best kb
  • Erica Adams  - Exhibited on-line
    have you never showed these in 3D venue, Karl?
  • Karl Baden
    no, have not
  • Christopher Rauschenberg  - depending on what you mean by a 3D venue...
    We did a show of Sex, Death and the History of Photography at Blue Sky Gallery (www.BlueSkyGallery.org) in 1989. We also had another show of his work in 1985 and both shows were GREAT!
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