E-Journal für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte
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Very special moments – Das unsichtbare Motiv bei William Eggleston, Jeff Wall und Gregory Crewdson

For William Eggleston, Jeff Wall und Gregory Crewdson time is one of the most important topics and working aids. In this essay I'm making the case that working on and with time is more important than working with space and location. I'm discussing the question how these photographers treat time in their photograph and how time reaches the status of a motive. Photography is missing important traits of a time-based art. Photography is motionless. Nevertheless photography is apt to treat invisible time. Standard conditions of reality can be transformed and reinterpreted. In contrast to locations, time is treated on an abstract level. Hence time can be more ambiguous than space and location. Instead of telling a story, the examined photograph tell about self-referentiality. One main aspect of photography seems to be the instantaneousness. Photography tends to be a time-art. Emphasising motionlesness and timelessness signals self-referentiality.

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