Will there ever be another photographic movement?

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warden

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Art history has had many movements, i.e. expressionism, dadaism, cubism, etc, while photography has had relatively few, which makes sense considering the relatively short existence of photography. It's hard for me to list many photographic movements actually, but off the top of my head there's the ƒ/64 group, the photo secessionists, the new topographics, and what I'd broadly call street photography. I suppose those are all "movements" but I'd like to read your thoughts.

Anyway, it seems to me that while our modern hyper-connected world has made it easy for a digital meme to be viewed by eighty million people instantly, it's also made it difficult for a goal oriented photography based art movement to gain traction.

Are there any photo movements today? What are they? Is it possible to make a new photographic movement today?
 

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I would consider lomography a "movement". It doesn't have the endorsement of serious galleries, not unexpected since it is actually a movement in reaction to "serious photography".
 
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warden

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I would consider lomography a "movement". It doesn't have the endorsement of serious galleries, not unexpected since it is actually a movement in reaction to "serious photography".
I think that's a great example, and it's a movement that is ongoing.
 

Pieter12

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Does Polaroid or instant count as a movement? Although it comes and goes as supplies and suppliers change. It has a look of sorts.
 

jim10219

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Part of the problem with defining current movements in the art world is that these movements aren't usually defined by the artists themselves, but rather by the art historians, after the "movement" has passed. For example, while Andreas Gursky teaches at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, he's not really in the Düsseldorf school of photography movement. His "movement" will probably be defined later, as he's certainly one of the most influential photographers of our time. Same with Annie Leibowitz, Alec Soth, Stephen Shore, etc. They're all extremely important artists who's work will certainly get categorized into movements, though since they're all still alive and producing, it's hard to accurately categorize them now without the perspective of history as a guide. Long after they've passed and the movement has come to a natural conclusion, it'll be easier to understand where it started, where it ended, who was involved, and what it all meant. Then, it'll get a name.

Also, a lot of the movements in photography align with the movements in the rest of the art world. For instance, there was a Dada, Surrealist, Pop, etc. movement in photography as well as painting and sculpture.

Pictorialism was an early photography movement, perhaps the first, and certainly deserves to be mentioned, as it was one of the few that didn't bleed over into painting and sculpture.
 

Lee Rust

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It seems like digital technology has shattered many of the artistic boundaries we tried to define in the past. In the earliest days, the complex technical demands of photography naturally limited the number of active practitioners and it was easy to identify a few interest groups as 'movements'. Then time went by, taking pictures became easier and easier, stylistic genres multiplied and the lines between them started to blur. Now that smartphone cameras have eliminated most technical and financial restrictions, anyone and everyone can be a photographer who actively defines and promotes their own approach as a distinct style. That's way too many to keep track of , so maybe we could just call it the 'me' movement.
 

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I think that the social documentary genre has grown exponentially with the advent of easy-to-use digital cameras and smart phones.
 

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The "Everything is in focus" movement. Cell phone cameras with 35mm lenses produce generally ugly photos. :sick:
 
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Of course but you won't know until it's either over or long gone. Just takes someone to name it and describe it.

Personally I am struggling to find where photography fits in. What I do is almost anachronistic in this day and age. Images are more disposable than ever and I'm trying to do series work on film and in print. What else can I do?
 

Jim Jones

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"Movements" are primarily a tool for those more compelled to talk about photography rather than produce it. Pinhole photography has been practiced for well over a hundred years without ever becoming a well established movement. Perhaps no other movement offers young and old such a total involvement in photography, or the possibility of creating images difficult with other photographic techniques.
 

mark

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I've never understood the whole "movement" thing. I see it this way---Movement is to Fad as Giclee is to Inkjet. A fancy word to add importance to something that really is simple. Outside of taking pictures I also enjoy building furniture from a combination of wood and steel. People call it industrial style furniture. I call it wood and steel furniture.
 

AgX

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It's hard for me to list many photographic movements actually, but off the top of my head there's the ƒ/64 group, the photo secessionists, the new topographics, and what I'd broadly call street photography.

You see this from a US perspective. Those movements are widely unknown here for instance. One even myself never heard.
 
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warden

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You see this from a US perspective. Those movements are widely unknown here for instance. One even myself never heard.

I suppose that's true, but I would imagine the New Topographics for one would be familiar to German photographers as two of the group were German (Bernd and Hilla Becher who founded the Düsseldorf School). Would the f/64 group be unknown to a German photography audience as well? I assumed Ansel Adams was more influential than the 50 states but that could just be the US perspective again.

Anyway, photographic movements from other parts of the world would be very interesting to learn about, especially if they are ongoing ones. If anyone has pointers I'd be glad to read about them. The Lomography one mentioned above is interesting, and they even have a "manifesto" that they published, but then again they have products to sell and that makes it feel more commercial of course.
 
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warden

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Of course but you won't know until it's either over or long gone. Just takes someone to name it and describe it.

Personally I am struggling to find where photography fits in. What I do is almost anachronistic in this day and age. Images are more disposable than ever and I'm trying to do series work on film and in print. What else can I do?

Regarding your second paragraph, I hear you. Let's start a movement. :smile:
 

Nodda Duma

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Photography from a more feminine perspective — softer, more personal — is a real and ongoing movement today.
 

KenS

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cellphone selfies? Certainly nothing artsy but I think it's a movement (that I hate :D).

I HAVE to admit (even tho' I always have my cell phone 'with me') I have never.. ever done a 'selfie'. If I 'needed to see my ugly/hairy face I can always look in the mirror.... hoping it will not 'crack' at the sight.

Ken
 

awty

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Photography from a more feminine perspective — softer, more personal — is a real and ongoing movement today.
I agree, think there's been a great resurgence in pictorialism, also women photographers have been given better equality more recently than in the 20th century. Maybe not so much of a movement but a progression as women become more influential.
 

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Film as an art form is on the rebound.

To those who used it when it was the only option and never stopped this can be confusing. But, there's an entire generation of youngn's that never shot or have seen a film camera that are now embracing film. They use film photography to express themselves and to elevate their art form. I think we may see 2019/20 referred to as the 'Analog Resurgence' in the future.

Take it from me, a relative youngster. Just a few years ago if I mentioned to my peer group I was using film I would get hoots and snorts of derision. Now it's a sign of skill and respect. Generation before me though, can't grasp why I would use film.
 

Andrew O'Neill

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Film as an art form is on the rebound.

To those who used it when it was the only option and never stopped this can be confusing. But, there's an entire generation of youngn's that never shot or have seen a film camera that are now embracing film. They use film photography to express themselves and to elevate their art form. I think we may see 2019/20 referred to as the 'Analog Resurgence' in the future.

Take it from me, a relative youngster. Just a few years ago if I mentioned to my peer group I was using film I would get hoots and snorts of derision. Now it's a sign of skill and respect. Generation before me though, can't grasp why I would use film.

All the Gen Zeds in my photography 11 class, over the past few years, have been very excited about using film and getting into the darkroom.
 
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