This is the latest version of this item.
|Corporate Creators:||Tate Britain|
|Abstract or Description:||
The seminal exhibition ‘Parallel of Life and Art’ (PLLA) which took place at the ICA in London in 1953 continues to capture the attention of art historians and curators through exhibition histories and curatorial studies. The exhibition is a key element in defining “discourse through images (Bilddiskurs),” a longstanding practice that nonetheless experienced significant change when it encountered the image-making properties of cameras and the means for their dissemination in the press (Flusser). This change coincided with a developing awareness of iconography and the work of the Warburg circle within the Independent Group, that equally understood this form of visual analysis in relation to emerging cybernetic theories of communication and information theory.
Building on research undertaken for the Tate Britain display ‘New Brutalist Image 1949-55’ (24 Nov 2014 – 20 Sep 2015), the article argues that PLLA demonstrates how photography was put to work discursively in post-war Britain, deploying new conditions of ‘seeing’ to define a visual order brought about by the transformation of image-capture and mass reproduction technologies, by the new ubiquity of photography, and by the lure of consumer society. Accompanying unprecedented technological possibilities was a new visual sensibility – in other words, a new contemporary aesthetic - rooted in the camera’s lens and mediated through printing processes. Together, this media combination encoded a manner of communication meant to challenge the cultural and social primacy of the printed word, invoking an “Esperanto” of images. Anticipating Lawrence Alloway’s conceptualisation of a ‘fine art pop art continuum’, the article argues, that the photographic image, through its mediating and remediating qualities became a sophisticated, nuanced tool of communication across the practices of art, architecture and design. It also highlights Peter Smithson’s proposition that understanding the visual motivations behind PLLA revealed contemporary cultural conditions “like a Rosetta Stone.”
The collaborative team of Alison & Peter Smithson, Nigel Henderson, Eduardo Paolozzi and Ronald Jenkins behind ‘Parallel of Life and Art’ shared an ambition to release the expanded field of everyday day visual culture into vision and experience across the board, displacing the highly invested and ordered culture of art and architecture, one traditionally governed by elitist ideas of public value and taste.
|Subjects:||Other > RCA Additional Subjects > Curating
Architecture > K100 Architecture
Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
|School or Centre:||School of Humanities|
|Funders:||Paul Mellon Centre|
|Identification Number or DOI:||https://doi.org/10.17658/issn.2058-5462/issue-04/vwalsh-czimmerman|
|Date Deposited:||19 Dec 2016 15:08|
|Last Modified:||05 Feb 2017 15:50|
Available Versions of this Item
New Brutalist Image 1949-55. (deposited 07 Dec 2016 14:39)
- New Brutalist Image 1949-55. (deposited 19 Dec 2016 15:08) [Currently Displayed]
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