Rosalind Krauss - Photographys Discursive Spaces

Decent Essays
Photography's Discursive Spaces: Landscape/View Rosalind Krauss Art Journal, Vol. 42, No. 4, The Crisis in the Discipline. (Winter, 1982), pp. 311-319.
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The lithograph belongs to the discourse of geology and, thus, of empirical science. In order for it to function within this discourse, the ordinary elements of topographical description had to be restored to the image produced by

Fig. 1 Timothy O'Sullivan, Tufa Domes, Pyramid Lake
(Nevada), 1868.

Fig. 2 Photolithograph after O'Sullivan, Tufa Domes, Pyramid Lake, Published in King Survey report, 1875. Winter 1982

O'Sullivan. The coordinates of a continuous homogeneous space, mapped not so much by perspective as by the cartographic grid, had to be reconstructed in terms of a coherent recession along an intelligibly horizontal plane retreating towards a definite horizon. The geological data of the tufa domes had to be grounded, coordinated, mapped. As shapes afloat on a continuous, vertical plane, they would have been ~ s e l e s s . ~ And the photograph? Within what discursive space does it operate? Aesthetic discourse as it developed in the nineteenth century organized itself increasingly around what could be called the space of exhibition. Whether public museum, official salon, world's fair, or private showing, the space of exhibition was constituted in part by the continuous surface of wall, a wall
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