Paulina Dzwonkowska


Photography and sculpture: The multifaceted relation of sculpture to photography and new media in the light of the evolving concept of sculpture



The relationship between photography and sculpture, unlike the dialogue between the latter and painting, was long treated as a peripheral issue. Yet as early as the mid-20th century photography began to show potential that sculpture seemed to be lack. Aware of a large degree of overlap between the two forms of artistic expression, (e.g. with respect to materiality, spatiality, or accentuating frozen gestures) sculptors did not leave sculpture for photography, but attempted to create works that were interdisciplinary  in structure.  The rise of interest in photography displayed by Polish sculptors was closely connected with the evolution of the concept of sculpture. In the mid-20th century artists creating traditional sculptures (understood as a solid or as a visually rendered spatial form) began to experiment and cross the boundaries of well-established artistic tradition. The changes introduced enabled sculptors to interweave their field with other artistic disciplines, especially photography, even more closely. More and more frequently, sculpture started to establish multi-faceted relations with the new medium. At the beginning the potential of photography as a documentation tool was exploited. Then sculptors began to appreciate photography’s core values, using it to capture and preserve a given moment in time. Finally, they applied it in works that can be classified as close to hyperrealism. The employment of still newer materials and tools made the link between sculpture and photography inextricable, as can be shown through works of Polish artists.

Key words:

Modern Sculpture, Photography, Polish Art, Environment, Installation Art, New media, Modern Art



DOI: 10.15503/jecs20101-26-36