Saturday, August 23, 2008

Photographic Typologies: Claudia Angelmaier

Claudia Angelmaier's reproduction photographs of old book illustrations and postcards can be seen as a sort of meta-typology. Self referential in their nod to Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Angelmaier's images seem (at least from a typological standpoint) less dependent on a rigidity of process and more concerned with the fact that she is photographing objects that are already typological in nature. In the new issue of Aperture, Brian Dillon writes:

"Angelmaier's studies of book illustrations, slides, and postcards seem to recompose in their quiet and mysterious way a central discovery of Benjamin's essay: the historical refraction of the aura of the work of art in innumerable reproductions. And yet the German artist's work actually frames a phenomenon that Benjamin (otherwise a connoisseur of the artifacts of the recent past) apparently could not foresee: the way that the most technologically advanced reproductions of works of art are themselves subject to aging, decay, and oddly anachronous intersections with the flux of art history that they affect to fix."

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All Images © Claudia Angelmaier