Facets of proto modern photography: history of avant-garde in Russia, Europe and Central Asia
Proto modernios fotografijos aspektai: avangardo istorija Rusijoje, Europoje ir Centrinėje Azijoje
Meno Istorija ir Kritika
F a c e t s o F P r o t o M o d e r n P h o t o g r a P h y : h i s t o r y o F a v a n tg a r d e i n r u s s i a , e u r o P e a n d c e n t r a l a s i a Steve yatES Fulbright Scholar, albuquerque, new Mexico, USa Summary. The wide array of artistic and technological innovations in early modern photography at the beginning of the twentieth century combined historical mediums and approaches with new media and technologies in the mainstream of modern art. A diverse generation of
... ry artists began to combine photographic practices with other art disciplines and skills, setting the stage to the new century for contemporary art practices around the world at the end of the past century. As the dawn of the modern era emerged across the United States, Europe and Asia in the early twentieth century, the Russian and European Avant-garde established a broad range of individual forms and styles. The first decades witnessed innovations by artists, photographers, filmmakers, painters, architects, musicians, writers, and poets seeking new directions. Modernists moved beyond tradition in expressing increasing changes found throughout everyday life. Artists combined photography, its scientific process and craft with emerging technologies and media to create modern subjects, approaches, and styles with unprecedented vision. While the early modern history of photography globally remains to be written, a wide range of artists established a much broader scope of contributions to Russia than Western or Eastern counterparts. From Moscow to Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Russian Avant-garde created prototypes of modern photography in multiple forms and through a variety of means that spread internationally. Over the lifetimes of artists and their oeuvres, modern styles and approaches were invented with independent vision. Photographers worked with a wide variety of materials and means of media printed on paper photomechanically using ink and related cinematic as well as other emerging technologies. Photographs were made, remade and reprinted, used and reused, with an array of diverse and meaningful perspectives. Proto modern photographers broke from conventional models and traditional genre by creating their own subjects with those experienced in the everyday world. The history of proto modern photography in Russia resides more in enduring ideas than the initial prints crafted in conventional darkroom practices. The darkroom often became a means to other ends. Artists worked beyond the limitations of the medium into experimental paths. Innovations from the studio and printing press with ink on paper moved from the historical limitations of photography as a medium to repetitive processes intrinsic to the medium. The twenty-first century offers unlimited opportunities for study in the modern art history of photography. Research not only lays a critical foundation for better understanding the contributions in the former USSR but the global evolution of modern and postmodern art. The true and extraordinary complexities in the early history modern photography formed by the Avant-garde through a wide array of styles and methods help inform transdisciplinary approaches today offering knowledge and understanding in a new world of seemingly unlimited artistic potentials.