The La Brea Matrix


This seems like a crazy yet interesting idea coming out of Germany:

The La Brea Matrix

What spheres of influence are there within photography? How can we grasp reception history in a specific case? How can we recognize the references of creative works? The La Brea Matrix Project explores the complex relationship between art photographers on both sides of the Atlantic. At its core is an icon of New Color Photography by Stephen Shore.

shore_labreaStephen Shore, Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, California, June 21, 1975

Although I love the above photograph by Stephen Shore and acknowledge that it’s a classic, I never really thought of it as an icon of New Color Photography but the writing on the project website makes some good arguments:

La Brea made photographic history. With the help of German photo-grapher Bernd Becher, the photograph was shown at documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany, as early as 1977. It was also printed in Sally Eauclaire‘s survey The New Color Photography, which was published in 1981 and which helped American color photography achieve its international break-through. The following year, La Brea appeared in Shore‘s photobook Uncommon Places. Thereafter, the photograph began exerting a long-terminfluence as a result, among other things, of Becher‘s work as a teacher at the art academy in Düsseldorf. Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky and other renowned art photographers of the Becher school have all acknowledged the influence of Stephen Shore.

The six German photographers involved are listed here but I haven’t heard of most of them:

Jens Liebchen (Berlin)
Max Regenberg (Köln / Cologne)
Oliver Sieber (Düsseldorf)
Olaf Unverzart (München/Munich)
Robert Voit (München / Munich)
Janko Woltersmann (Hannover / Hanover)

The end result of the project will be a book put out by Schaden and an exhibition in Cologne at Kaune, Sudendorf.


One Response to “The La Brea Matrix”

  1. Alyce Lienke Says:

    I sight myself coming to your journal progressively rarely to the point where my visits are nearly every day today!

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