Depth of Field, volume 7, no. 1 (December 2015)Gisela Parak: From ‘Topographic’ to ‘Environmental’ – A Look into the Past and the Presence of the New Topographics Movement

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1. The exhibition Landschaft. Umwelt. Kultur. On the New Topographics’ Transnational Impact was on display at the Museum für Photographie in Brunswick,Germany, from October 23 to November 29, 2015, and was curated by the author of this article.

2. Jenkins 1975, n.p.

3. Dunaway 2010, p. 14.

4. Green 1984, p. 163.

5. Parak 2014, p. 334.

6. Schwägerl 2012.

7. Parak 2013, p. 5.

8. Dunaway 2015.

9. Dunaway 2005; Kelsey 2013; Solnit 2009.

10. Parak 2013.

11. The term ‘vernacular landscape’ usually refers to Walker Evans’ depiction of modern life in the 1930s and the spread of gasoline stations, telegraph post etc. to inhabit the countryside, and was prominently discussed by J. B. Jackson. See Jackson 1984.

12. Badger 2010, n.p.

13. Baltz 1983; Gossage 1985/86.

14. Baltz 1983, p. 6.

15. Baltz 1983, p. 13.

16. Badger 2010, n.p.

17. Originally published as ‘The Monuments of Passaic’, Artforum, December 1967.

18. Smithson 1996.

19. In the German context the two most well-known artistic actions in the area of fine arts were Joseph Beuys’ Stadtverwaldung on the occasion of Documenta 7 (1982), and Klaus Staeck’s Staecks Umwelt. Texte und politische Plakate (1984).

20. Discussion with Joachim Schumacher on 24 July 2015 in Brunswick, Germany. In this context, it would also be logical to discuss the New Topographics’ impact via Bernd and Hilla Becher on their students. However, at least to the knowledge of the author, there has not been any scholarly discussion of the New Topographics’ direct impact on the Düsseldorf Photo School so far. Bernd and Hilla Becher started teaching at Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts in 1976. Christof Schaden has elaborated on the American-German exchange that the Bechers established and that was important for the work of Elger Esser, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Simone Nieweg, Thomas Ruff, Jörg Sasse and Thomas Struth. Schaden refers to the work of Stephen Shore as being of specific importance though and was criticized for this confinement. See Gronert 2011. However, in general art historians have argued a much wider field of photographic influences as being of importance for the Düsseldorf Photo School, such as conceptual art and minimal art. See Lippert and Schaden 2010.

21. Manz and Matz 1980.

22. Werkstatt für Photographie 1980.

23. Parak 2015a.

24. Bertho 2013, p. 69.

25. Gierstberg and De Ruiter 2007, p. 223.

26. Gierstberg and Vroege 1992.

27. Gierstberg 1998.

28. Gierstberg and De Ruiter 2007, p. 192.

29. Van den Heuvel and Metz 2008.

30. Parak 2015b, p. 12.