Trees near Amiens, Trees near Fricourt, Barrière de la Villette 2005-2007

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New electronic and digital technologies are providing innovative platforms and contexts for contemporary photo-based visual arts practices and their relationship to society while, concurrently, critical discourse suggests a dilution of the social agency of images in the world at large. This research examines the extent to which the meaning of photographic content can operate on multiple levels by questioning how we perceive, encounter and reflect upon the world around us through an examination of the historical, social, political and aesthetic operations of photographic images. The photographic series Trees near Amiens, Trees near Fricourt, and Barrière de la Villette by Debra Phillips address the material, technological, ontological and epistemological parameters of the photographic medium and the extent to which these parameters can be communicated through the presentation of different photographic subjects that have been individually framed and installed across a gallery wall as a suite. Presented as a set of relational image components, the works encourage an alternative viewpoint to the single photograph as a primary form or means to convey isolated content. The works were produced during an AGNSW residency in the Moya Dyring studio at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (awarded 2005) and were completed as initial research for an Australia Council New Work Grant $20,000 (awarded 2006). The significance of the works is attested by their inclusion in the major group exhibition Perfect for every Occasion, Heide Musuem of Modern Art, Melbourne (2007). The work is also included in the chapter Debra Phillips in Twelve Australian Photo Artists (Piper Press, Sydney, 2009).
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Phillips, Debra Anne
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Stanhope, Zara
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