Philip Lorca diCorcia also draws unmistakably from film and TV to create
his works. Over the past years, DiCorcia, born like Longo in 1953 on the
American East Coast, has primarily photographed street scenes in New York,
Tokyo, Berlin, Mexico City, Barcelona, and Los Angeles: people in cities
on their way home or to work, shopping, or going out - in a manner,
however, that comes across as being extremely artificial. DiCorcia's trick
is also relatively simple; it originates, of course, in the advertising
and TV aesthetic. DiCorcia's seemingly random, yet in truth carefully
arranged images are characterized by a special lighting situation that
only becomes obvious upon closer inspection: it's the typical television
lighting with the crisp shadows, spotlights, and so-called "daylight
lamps" that make his photographs seem so artificial.
Richard Prince, All the Best (Cameron Diaz, Kate Holmes, Brandon Lee),
Deutsche Bank Collection, Courtesy © Galerie Jablonka
On the other hand,
Richard Prince prefers to dedicate himself to Hollywood's star system.
Thus, for example, Deutsche Bank Art possesses a series of autographed
cards, readymades that have found entry into Prince's overall work. The
images on the autographed cards are for the most part film stills of the
respective actors or actresses - and, as such, are far removed from
anything that could be termed reality. Richard Prince became interested in
these cards because they impressively illustrate the properties of the
visual codes that generate images.
in a negligee on a beach in the evening,
Pamela Anderson as the girl next door,
Keanu Reaves in a rain-soaked T-shirt: these photographs are
unrealistic, torn out of their contexts, and have little to do with the
persons represented - yet despite this, or precisely for this very reason,
they possess a high degree of seductive power.
Jeff Wall, Man with a Rifle, Courtesy © Jeff Wall
Incidentally, the phenomenon of artists borrowing from film is by no means
limited to the Anglo Saxon world, as artists such as the German
Matthias Müller or the Swiss duo
Hubbard/Birchler testify to, to name only three. Yet the movement's center
is without a doubt located in Great Britain, Australia, and North America.
Whether it's a matter of Douglas Gordon or Stan Douglas, Robert Longo,
Richard Prince, or the photographer and master of staging
Jeff Wall, who is able to compress entire novels into a single image: they
all use the great vision-making machine of Hollywood to confront their
public with illusions that have long since become a second reality for us.
Translation: Andrea Scrima