Issue 39 —

Renowned photographer Taryn Simon initially gained recognition for her demanding documentary photography before evolving a more poetic approach to making art.  She guest edits the issue, drawing in a large cast of contributors. It offers the work of the great and the glorious – Francis Alys, John Baldessari, Rineke Dijkstra, Vik Muniz et al- alongside the work of emerging talents and that of Taryn Simon herself. Furthermore this issue really is an exercise in formal cohesion.

It is less about the direct connection through subject matter, and more about the affinity in producing art in which the formal qualities of the series stands central, together with related practices and processes such as the juxtaposition (or imposition even) of text and image.

The result is a veritable treasure trove of fairly small images that occupy the pages rather densely, simultaneously drawing our attention to the recent history of certain prevalent aesthetics or approaches that have come to stand centrally in the language of international contemporary art since conceptualism; the archival, the deconstruction of cinema and, perhaps quite simply, the almost autistic pursuit of some elusive meaning through the imposition of rigid systems and patterns.

This really is an issue in which it would be almost criminal to attempt to single out any particular contribution. From An-My Lê’s images of those working in the Baring Sea’s fishing industry to Lisa Oppenheim’s direct grappling with the technology of photography itself, each contributes a further point to what is effectively a continuous essay about the contemporary position of the photographic image in relation to formalism and conceptual thinking embedded in language. An essential visual textbook for any student of contemporary art.

    Issue 39 –
    January 2011 82 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Hans Haacke Paul Graham Vik Muniz Lisa Oppeheim Rob Reynolds Mario Garcia Torres Piotr Uklanski Catherine Wagner
    Editor In Chief –
    Dana Foconti
    Art Director –
    Su Barber
    Blindspot - Issue 39  Blindspot - Issue 39  Blindspot - Issue 39  Blindspot - Issue 39  Blindspot - Issue 39  Issue 39  Blindspot - Issue 39

Our Take —

Blind Spot has been around for quite some time and has impeccable credentials. Operating very much in the mode of a peer-reviewed academic journal, it has an advisory board of various high-achievers in the world of photography and its contributing editors at large include heavyweights such as John Baldessari, Vik Muniz, James Welling, Gregory Crewdson and Joyce Carol Oates, to name but a few from the illustrious list.

But, unlike many academic journals, there is a strong emphasis on the high-quality reproduction of the visual image, as there should be in a magazine that exists to provide a platform –published three times a year- for living artists to show unseen work. In this sense, Blind Spot is a title that behaves a bit more like a gallery space than many other photographic magazines, something that is only underscored by the fact that it also acts as a representing agency for a list of top-notch artists. Under the guidance of Executive Director and Publisher & Editor Dana Faconti and Curator Jodie Vicenta Jacobson, the magazine also provides the appropriate context to the published work and develops many projects from scratch directly in collaboration with the artists, much as a good gallery space might.

Blind Spot is an essential for anyone wanting to remain informed of the intersection of contemporary art and the photographic image at the cutting edge of the discussion.

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Photography Art

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