Photography was a major shaper and creator of modernism, Discuss.

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Jack Stringer                02/05/07

Photography was a major shaper and creator of modernism, Discuss.

Art is an activity characteristic of humanity since the dawn of civilisation. In any epoch the Artist, by virtue of special gifts, expresses that which is finest in humanity…the visual artist archives this through modes of understanding and expression which are ‘purely visual’ – radically distinct from, for example, verbalisation. This special characteristic of art necessarily makes it an autonomous sphere of activity, completely separate from the everyday world of social and political life. The autonomous nature of visual art means that questions asked of it may only be properly put, and answered, in its own terms – all other forms of interrogation are irrelevant. In the modern world the function of art is to preserve and enhance its own special sphere of civilising human values in an increasingly dehumanising technological environment.

If these beliefs sound familiar – perhaps even self-evident – it is because they long-ago became part of the received common-sense we in the West learn at our mother’s knee.                        (Burgin 1986)

The 20th Century had a good start due to the inventions and innovations of the 19th Century era. The culture was becoming more and more refined with the standardisation set out by the previous generations finally becoming long term standards and the fruition of ideas and ideals set out in the 19th Century. The inventions and innovations were still moving forwards at a fast pace getting quicker as the technology to test and evaluate designs and ideas got better. Work on development of ideas was now starting to be spear headed by business rather than the rich individuals of the 19th Century this was making the development process quicker and more productive for several reasons, groups of educated and intellectual people were working together on a common goal, the structure of business allowed the development not to be just a hobby but a full time paying job and this provided motivation in the way of getting paid wile developing.

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People were starting to understand them selves more by the beginning of the Modern understanding of Psychology, with Sigmund Freud being a driving force. He looked at how people could be motivated towards certain ideas and ideals with the use of new mediums that were starting out such as Radio, Television, and the Printed press. This caused a new understanding of the Self this made people look at their lifestyle in a different way, to understand how they could improve their work and personal lifestyle and happiness. This made the people of the time open to alternate ways of thinking ...

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