Concept and Collaboration in the work of Hiroshi SugimotoHiroshi Sugimoto combines the technical aspects of photography with a serial approach to making work that has led to monumental series' of photographs. He explores and innovates within the photographic process and medium, yet sees his work as being craft orientated and close to the photography of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Sugimoto says of his early practice "I tried to reach the best, highest quality of photography and then combine this with a conceptual art practice. But thinking back that was the wrong decision."
This article will explore why he feels this was a wrong decision, how the artist can combine a conceptual and time-based practice with a 'craft,' and whether his work be seen as a collaboration between the photograph and the subject? How far can his work be seen to flip the subject matter - medium relationship on its head and create a series on photography as much as an exploration of seascapes, cinemas or architectural icons? Through tracing his forerunners in terms of conceptualisation within photography (John Baldessari) and a photographical context (Bernd and Hilla Becher and such photographical thinking) the article will allow conclusions to be made with regards the collaborative nature of the photographic medium and its presented subject, and indeed the significance of this within the work of Hiroshi Sugimoto.
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