British photographic history

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Helen Sear challenges the traditional values of photography

Helen Sear challenges the traditional values of photography, pressing it into service of her own artistic vision...For British artist Helen Sear, ‘photographic vision is occluded,’ writes David Chandler in his essay, Seeing in the dark, Inside the View (Ffotogallery, 2012). ‘It is not just a layered process (the revealing of which in her work has in itself led to forms of opacity), but it is also a site of enquiry, a subject, one to be unravelled and examined as part of the work’s conception and making, from idea, from theory, and from intuition into practice.’ With her work evolving from a background of ‘performance, film and installation’ art made in the 1980’s, Sear has come to be acknowledged over the past three decades as one of the most significant contemporary artists working today, who has continually challenged the traditional values of photography and press it into service of her own artistic vision, leading David Drake director of Ffotogallery, to suggest she ‘challenges the dominant view of photography as a documentary medium, questioning its indexical relationship with the world.’ Read more...

Image: Pastoral Monument 11, Fumaria Bastardii, 2012. Archival Pigment Print, 27.5” x 27.5”, Edition of 3 + 2 AP’s. (© Helen Sear/Courtesy Klompching Gallery).

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