By Peter C. Bunnell
John Pfahl is a latest photographic artist whose physique of labor spans the earlier thirty years. He makes use of nature as his subject material, yet introduces components akin to string or aluminum foil, and arranges those fabrics with uncomplicated methods of standpoint. This publication covers a few of his earliest paintings, and exhibits his knack for controlling viewpoint to create images that appear flat, yet upon nearer inspection show themselves to be relatively immense.
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Additional resources for Altered Landscapes: The Photographs of John Pfahl
The artist is expansive, generous, centrifugal. The photographer is miserly, greedy, and centripetal. In other words I am a born photographer. 4 0 = But for all this evidence, the distinction photography index vs. painting = icon is clearly inadequate. The emergence of photography as indexical is traced by Dubois 41 as a historical shift in critical perception (photography as mirror of real> photography as transformation of the real> photography as trace of the real), a change of critical emphasis rather than of the photograph's nature.
Where the icon institutes a relationship of resemblance, between sign and object, signifier and signified, the symbol institutes one of translation. That is to say, the symbolic requires a process of interpretation to get from signifier to signified, because the relationship is unmotivated, conventional, arbitrary: the symbol neither points to nor resembles what it stands for. '), and towards the abstract. This might be simply illustrated by the photograph of Jane Morris (illus. 2) which Rossetti turned into the symbolic chalk drawing Pandora (1869; one of several versions).
Why is she the centre of darkness? Why is she turned to the light, and to free space, the exit? Why does her dress pass from severe folds to crumpledness? Rossetti's chalk drawing can connect and resolve these questions at a single stroke. Jane Morris's real meaning, symbolic meaning, the meaning which the photograph cannot express but language can, because it has access to translation, interpretation and abstraction, is that Jane 2 John Parsons, Photograph of Jane Morris, 1865 ('Pandora' pose).
Altered Landscapes: The Photographs of John Pfahl by Peter C. Bunnell