“As for the term ‘concrete’, initially it is certainly to be understood, like in Hegel, as the opposite of the term ‘abstract’. The concrete is the non-abstract. Everything abstract presupposes something from which certain features have been abstracted. By contrast, everything concrete is just itself.” (Max Bense)
Concrete photography, a development within modernism, focuses on an expression of the medium itself. It works with formal methods to display structural characteristics, creating an ideal image without external signifiers. Common examples of concrete photography are works that utilize light sensitive materials to construct images or objects that make an interaction with light visible. Concrete photography doesn’t concern itself with referentiality, signs or symbols. Thus, a concrete photograph is a “photograph of photography” (Gottfried Jäger).
The work Concrete Photography plays with these thoughts and leads them into absurdity. In its attempt to produce circular meaning and to refer only back to itself, Concrete Photography poses the question if, in an era of total depiction, every photograph is actually without a referent unless presented within context, and if the attribution of meaning always demands an active participation of the viewer.
5 Silverprints on fibre paper, concrete, steel
Gerðasafn, Kopavogur Art Museum