Early photomontage 1


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  • {"5":"New photographic processes meant that more people could make photographs. Amateurs experimented with 'amusing' techniques that were previously marvelled at. The approach became extremely fashionable, and combination portraiture amounted to 'a craze' — Francis Galton (1822-1911) being a leading British practitioner. Very few examples of this 'craze' survive from the 1880s, so it is difficult to know how 'fantastic' some of the pictures were or how long the craze really lasted.   The interest in photographic trickery had sufficient momentum, however, to push Woodbury's book Photographic Amusements (1896) through 11 editions from 1896 to 1937.\n","1":"The first combination printing?\nProbably invented in Scotland in the early 1850s, combination printing was the layering of separate images onto a single photographic print, through the means of careful masking and the making of successive exposures. Making early combination prints required days of work, quality equipment, and painstaking methods. It was first called "double printing", since only two negatives were used in the early years, usually to print in a well-exposed sky above a landscape\nRobinson's famous combination print, "Fading away" (1858), pictured a young girl's death due to TB; a common occurrence that undoubtedly contributed to the Victorian cult of childhood. In 1859 he published a booklet, On printing photographic pictures from several negatives. A more detailed book followed in 1869, and then Picture Making by Photography (1884). He became an eloquent advocate for art photography, but Gernsheim (Creative Photography, 1962) shows he preferred the "scissors & paste-pot" rather than combination printing for most prints.\nThe first spirit photographs?\nSir Arthur Conan Doyle, in his comprehensive History of Spiritualism (1926), stated that the first deliberate attempts at spirit photography took place in Great Britain in the year 1851. This, however, is a fact that cannot now be confirmed by modern scholars. See Cheroux's The Perfect Medium (2005) for more discussion of this matter. \nEarly spirit photographs were created by means of double exposure, and possibly by simple combination printing. The oldest known surviving spirit photograph is from 1861. \nSpiritualism itself is generally said to have been invented in 1848, when two little girls, the Fox sisters, claimed they heard the rapping of 'spirits' on a table.\n1850/6: The Works of Poe\nThe Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe were published in the U.S. (1850 & 1856), although sadly edited by someone who sometimes freely rewrote and recombined the stories. Poe (1809-1849) had been known in his own lifetime — but only as a critic, not as a writer of fiction. \nPoe's works, along with de Sade and the recovery of European folk/fairy tales, became the seeds of a sophisticated gothic imagination (there had been an unsophisticated pre-1848 literature of 'Penny Dreadfuls' and a brief British craze for horror stage shows) — which can be seen running through Stevenson's Hyde (1886), the 'L'Esprit Decadent' novels of the 1880s, James' The Turn of the Screw (1898), Ernst's collage novels, Lovecraft, Mervyn Peake, Borges, Ray Bradbury, Angela Carter, to Jan Svankmajer and beyond\n","7":"British postcards\nEccentric and mesmerist postcards\nPopular photographic postcards circulated in Britain, showing fantastic scenes — such as the "If London were Venice" (circa 1902), part of a series. \nGerman postcards\nFantasy head-paste photomontages\nPopular German postcards used bizarre combinations such as those below, from 1902-05. Enlarged or swopped heads is an easy but effective technique; and are also seen in the films of Georges Melies. \nGerman postcards\nPropaganda postcards\nBelow is a pungent 1905 example of anti-British propaganda in a German postcard — a decade before John Heartfield 'invented' political photomontage in Germany. \nFrench postcards\nPolitical(?) photomontage postcards\n'Out at last' is a circa-1905 photomontage postcard from France, which possibly had political meaning to people at the time. \nAmerican postcards\n1908-1913: William H. Martin\n'Fantastic farming' postcards circulate in the U.S.   William H. "Dad" Martin, having run a photography studio in Kansas since 1894, turns to making a series of humourously surreal photomontaged postcards showing farmers hunting giant rabbits and farmers taking huge potatoes or geese to market. These appear to have been first produced by him in 1908, and Martin continued making and selling them until about 1912 or 1913, when he sold his very profitable new business\n","2":"Working in Wolverhampton, Oscar Rejlander took six weeks to create a seamless combination print from 32 negatives. Loosely based on a classical theme, there were two versions — both complex high Victorian tableaux. They depict the life-choices of a young man, Industry or Dissipation. It was first shown at the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857, when many objected to the nudity. But Royal patronage followed, and Rejlander moved to London and made his name as "the father of art photography". His later The Bachelor's Dream (circa 1860) is an almost proto-surrealist staged picture\n","8":"Futurist photodynamism\n1911-13: Anton Giulio Bragaglia\nBragaglia created a ghostly — almost spirit photography -like — photography of movement and blurring that he terms "photodynamism". He writes: "A shout, a tragical pause, a gesture of terror, the entire scene, the complete external unfolding of the intimate drama, can be expressed in one single work." — "Fotodinamismo Futurista" (1913). \n","3":"Fredericks took Fox Talbot's process to the U.S. — from 1858 his New York studio specialised in collaged 'group portrait' cartes de visite, and trick images. Also in the U.S., William Notman composited groups (e.g.: "Skating Carnival" 1870). \nAs fine engravings proliferated in affordable printed material, a practice of amateur collage grew up among affluent girls and women in the industrialising world. The products of this domestic craft — unusual and distorted images inside 'scrap' albums and on fire-screens filled with re-combined chromolithographs, engraved prints, and even original domestic photographs — would have been known only to their family and intimate social circle. But the practice nevertheless ran in parallel to the standard photography of the time, and it may have informed the craze for surreal combination printing in the 1880s\n","9":"Dada photomontage\n1916-1918: German dada 'invents' photomontage\nThe date of the 'invention' of photomontage is commonly claimed to have been in May 1916 in Germany, by George Grosz and John Heartfield; although their description of the event sounds more like a crude political collage of elements that happened to include some photographs from the German illustrated press. \nFellow dadaists Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Hoch made a slightly more convincing claim to have 'invented' photomontage in 1918, apparently having seen how ordinary people were sticking cut-out photos of the face of their loved-ones onto "a coloured lithograph of a grenadier in front of barracks".\n","4":"arroll, a photographer since 1856 and a good friend of Oscar Rejlander (see 1857), published his famous book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The book had a strong and continuing influence on the visual imagination. Carroll later made the influential "Xie" pictures, 1868-1879. Rediscovered and properly printed from the early 1970s, Carroll's main photographic/literary subject matter — girlhood and the sleeping/dream state — has become a common theme in contemporary work\n1880s onwards: genres of combination and accumulation\nPopular 'fantastic' genres emerged in literature: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet (1887) (first Sherlock Holmes); Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde (1888); H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (1895) Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). A deep and enduring tradition of British children's fantasy literature began to take root, with George MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind (1871) and Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass (1871). In France 'L'Esprit Decadent' produced a new macabre fiction. In the U.S., Poe was re-evaluated and re-published\n","10":"Max Ernst's collages\nEngraving composites, Paris 1921\nThe '1st Dada fair' was in 1920. Ernst's collages had their first exhibition, at the Galerie Au Sans Pareil in Paris (1921), under the auspices of Andre Breton. This period of his creative work culminated around 1924, when the surrealists issued the first Manifesto of Surrealism (1924). \nSurrealist photography\nManifesto of Surrealism, 1924\nSurrealist photography officially began with the publication of Andre Breton's Manifesto of Surrealism (1924). Double exposure, solarisation, distortion, shadows, reflections, and extreme close-up all became common approaches. Such photographs, and 'found' photography, are widely used in surrealist publications. \nWhile surrealism clearly shows how art can be made from a dark and anxious eroticism... "The surrealist photographers (Man Ray, Raoul Hausman, Bill Brandt, Brassai, etc.) rarely used photomontage." — from: Photographic Conditions of Surrealism (1984), and... "comparatively few surrealists persisted with photomontage after initial experiments" — from: Ades, Photomontage (1976). An interesting mid 1930s exception is Dora Maar. \nSurrealist films, especially Un Chien Andalou (1928) and L'Age d'or (1930), may have influenced photomontage\n"}
  • Early photomontage 1

    1. 1. The origins of Collage and Photomontage Combination Printing Spirit Photography Edgar Allen Poe
    2. 2. Oscar Gustave Rejlander 1857: "The Two Ways of Life".
    3. 3. H.D Fredericks & Co. 1858-1889: collaged portraits Domestic collage 1860s & 70s: assemblage collages.
    4. 4. Fantastic fiction 1865: Lewis Carroll publishes Alice in Wonderland. 1871: Alice Through the Looking Glass 1887: A Study in Scarlet 1888: Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde 1895: The Time Machine 1897: Bram Stoker’s Dracula
    5. 5. Combination printing 1880s: Fashionable fakes Francis Galton
    6. 6. Trick photography "Operated by any school boy or girl!" — Kodak marketing, 1901
    7. 7. Postcards British American German French
    8. 8. MODERNISM Futurism
    9. 9. Dada Raoul Haussman George Grosz John Heartfield Hannah Hoch
    10. 10. Surrealism Herbert Bayer Max Ernst Dora Maar
    11. 11. TITLE: DATE: PHOTOGRAPHER: ‘Lonely Metropolitan’ 1932 Herbert Bayer Content What do you think are the intentions of the photographer? What kind of mood is created? What wider issues do you think the photographer is exploring? Consider the title and time in which the photo was taken. (Look at the sentence starters for more help) Keywords Write 5-10 keywords in response to this photo: Mise en Scene (Setting in Scene” Look carefully at the picture. Explain what is going on in the scene from an objective/impartial viewpoint. Process What techniques /processes has the photographer used?
    12. 12. Content What are the photographer’s intentions? There may be more than one. ‘PEC’ each intention. P The photographer intended to… E He did this by… (describe something in the image) C He wanted us to think / react … What wider social, political or cultural issues was the photographer addressing? P ______ is considering ______ in this piece of work. E This is shown by _____ C The photographer wanted to explore _____ How do the materials and techniques used by the photographer contribute to the work and the their intentions? P The photographer has used ______ in creating this work. E This creates a ______ effect. C This helps to support the photographer’s point about _____