Evocations of the Everyday: The Street Pictures of Jeff Wall
Bell, Graham W., 1985-
This thesis will position the work of contemporary photographer Jeff Wall among his peers from the 1980s until the present with an emphasis on the transition from theoretical modes of references to the art historical canon to an inquiry into everyday scenes through photographic constructions. Starting with the so-called "street photo," Mimic (1982), Wall's oeuvre has expanded in pursuit of representations of common, urban scenes that are secretly works of fiction. Building on ideas from Roland Barthes, Douglas Crimp, Michael Fried, Rosalind Krauss and Thierry de Duve, the argument is made that the "street photos" have shaped Wall's larger production of photographs that question the construction of vision in life and the media. Furthermore, his street photos have influenced other artists working through postmodern poststructuralist ideas to reestablish the nature of photography.