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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Informing Contexts – Carol Squiers and My Practice

“Artists around the globe have been experimenting with and redrawing the boundaries of traditional photography for decades.  Although digital photography seems to have made analog obsolete, artists continue to make works that are photographic objects, using both old technologies and new, crisscrossing boundaries and blending techniques.”

– Carol Squiers

International Center for Photography Curator Carol Squiers organised the exhibition ‘What Is a Photograph?’ in 2014.  The theme was to explore the range of creative experimentation that has occurred in photography since the 1970s.

The exhibition featured 21 artists – Matthew Brandt, Marco Breuer, Liz Deschenes, Adam Fuss, Owen Kydd, Floris Neusüss, Marlo Pascual, Sigmar Polke, Eileen Quinlan, Jon Rafman, Gerhard Richter, Mariah Robertson, Alison Rossiter, Lucas Samaras, Travess Smalley, David Benjamin Sherry, Kate Steciw, Artie Vierkant, James Welling, Christopher Williams, and Letha Wilson.

The artists have produced work that breaks the ‘rules’.  Their work re-invents what a photograph is.

Of the case studies covered so far on the MA Photography course, I relate the most to that of Carol Squiers.  The exhibition considers the impact of blurring boundaries between different technologies.  This resonates with what I am trying to achieve.  I have an interest in combining aspects of digital imagery with a physical 3-dimensional intervention.  My work so far has been a series of practical experiments.  

I have been exploring the role of light, colour, composition and materiality, as well as the subject and how they are portrayed in the image.  I reiterate that I view my work as art. My outcomes are hybrid objects that cross disciplines and techniques.  For some viewers, the physical intervention and digital manipulation I carry out on my images can lead to questions as to whether my outcomes can or should be classified and considered as photographs or art. 

My personal opinion is that my work is photography as that is where the image starts.  But it is also art.  I don’t doubt that my images will be questioned and invite a dialogue about its value and position within the worlds of both photography and art.  I am determined to provoke and stimulate that discussion.  I want the viewer to react to my outcomes.  Whether my work is viewed positively or negatively remains very much down to the viewer.


Squiers, C. From International Center of Photography. 2017. What Is a Photograph? | International Center of Photography. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 08 February 2017].

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