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Minor Photography

Connecting Deleuze and Guattari to Photography Theory
Edited by: Mieke Bleyen

With contributions from: Mieke Bleyen (KU Leuven), Eric C. H. de Bruyn (University of Leiden),
Liesbeth Decan (Sint-Lukas Brussels/School of Arts (KASK) Ghent), Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes
(University of Ulster), Neil Matheson (University of Westminster), Simon O’Sullivan (Goldsmiths
College, University of London), Gilles Rouffineau (École supérieure d’art et de design Grenoble-
Valence), Jelena Stojkovic (University of Westminster), Frédéric Thomas (University of Paris 8 – Saint

© 2012 by Leuven University Press / Presses Universitaires de Louvain / Universitaire Pers Leuven,
Minderbroedersstraat 4, B-3000 Leuven (Belgium)
ISBN 978 90 5867 910 9

Distributed by Leuven University Press

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Reprint from Minor Photography - ISBN 9789058679109 - © Leuven University Press, 2012

m in o r ph otog r a ph y
minor photography series editors
Alexander Streitberger                 
Hilde Van Gelder
Connecting Deleuze and Guattari to Photography Theory assistant editors
Esther Rosser
Jeroen Verbeeck

M i ek e Bl ey en (ed.)

contributors volume 1
the notion of the minor, developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in Kafka,
Simon O’Sullivan (Goldsmiths College, London), Els Vanden Meersch. Paranoid Obstructions (2004)
Gilles Rouffineau (École des beaux-arts de Valence), Towards a Minor Literature (1975), is introduced and connected here for the very first time to
volume 2

Connecting Deleuze and Guattari to Photography Theory
Neil Matheson (University of Westminster, London),
the field of photography theory. Deleuze and Guattari defined minor literature in terms Hilde Van Gelder (ed.)
Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes (University of Ulster, Belfast),
Constantin Meunier. A Dialogue with Allan Sekula (2005)
Eric C. H. de Bruyn (University of Leiden), of deterritorialization, politicization and collectivization. By transferring ‘the minor’ to the
Frédéric Thomas (Université de Paris 8, Saint Denis), volume 3
medium of photography, this book enlarges the idea of ‘the minor’ and opens it up to all
Liesbeth Decan (Leuven University College of Art ), Hilde Van Gelder (ed.)
Mieke Bleyen (University of Leuven), kinds of mutations in the process. The essays gathered in this book discuss the ways in In the Name of Mozart. Photographs by Malou Swinnen (2006)
Jelena Stojkovic (University of Westminster, London)
which photography can make the dominant codes of representation stammer and how it volume 4
Jan Baetens and Hilde Van Gelder (eds)
can produce new affects and address people yet to come.
Critical Realism in Contemporary Art. Around Allan Sekula’s Photography (2006)
The authors consider ‘the minor’ as a valuable tool to help photography research move
volume 5
beyond, or in between, binary and hierarchized ways of thinking (of high and low art, Patricia Allmer and Hilde Van Gelder (eds)
Collective Inventions: Surrealism in Belgium (2007)
for example, or centre and periphery). As such, it aims to contribute to a rethinking of
volume 6
photography as multiplicity and variation. Consequently, the term is connected with
Henri Van Lier
both marginal and canonical photographic practices, covering photographers as differ- Philosophy of Photography (2007)
ent as Miroslav Tichy, Paul McCarthy, Tacita Dean, Dan Graham, and Paul Nougé. After volume 7
Hilde Van Gelder and Helen Westgeest (eds)
developing a theory of the minor, this book explores how the operations of the minor
Photography between Poetry and Politics (2008)
can be found in major art practices. It closes by tackling the question of photography as
volume 8
variation in case studies of belated forms of Surrealist photography. Barbara Baert (ed.)
Fluid Flesh: The Body, Religion and the Visual Arts (2009)

volume 9
Mieke Bleyen is a researcher at the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography and
Alexander Streitberger (ed.)
the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Leuven. She is currently completing Situational Aesthetics. Selected Writings by Victor Burgin (2009)
a PhD on the topic of minor photography. volume 10
Jan Baetens, Alexander Streitberger and Hilde Van Gelder (eds)
Time and Photography (2010)

volume 11
Maarten Vanvolsem
The Art of Strip Photography. Making Still Images with a Moving Camera (2011)

volume 12
Alexander Streitberger
Cover image: Paul McCarthy, Looking Out, Skull Card, 1968.
Cardboard, string. 27.9 x 22.9 cm  / 11 x 9  inches LGC Shifting Places. Peter Downsbrough, the Photographs (2011)

© Paul McCarthy, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Reprint from Minor Photography - ISBN 9789058679109 - © Leuven University Press, 2012

ISBN 9789058679109 .© Leuven University Press. 2012 . Minor Photography Reprint from Minor Photography .

the books offer new insights in the position of the photographic medium within the art historical. The Series is produced by the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography (www.ISBN 9789058679109 .lievengevaertcentre. the visual arts. 2012 . translations and republications of classic material. ii Reprint from Minor Photography . The Lieven Gevaert Series is published by Leuven University Press. Time and Photography The Lieven Gevaert Series is a major series of substantial and innovative books on photography. At the forefront of contemporary thinking on photography. and distrib- uted in North America by Cornell University Press. the Series takes into account the ubiquitous presence of photography within modern culture and. book length projects with artists.© Leuven University Press. social and institutional and covers four types of approaches: publication of outstanding monographic studies. proceedings of international conferences. Launched in 2004. in particular. theoretical.

Jan Baetens. Minor Time andPhotography Photography Connecting Deleuze and Guattari to Photography Theory Editedby Edited by JanBaetens. 2012 .© Leuven University Press.ISBN 9789058679109 .Alexander Alexander Streitberger Streitberger Mieke andHilde Bleyen and HildeVan VanGelder Gelder iiiiii Reprint from Minor Photography .

Reprint from Minor Photography .ISBN 9789058679109 . 2012 .© Leuven University Press.

de Bruyn Part 3 Cinematic Time / Duration and Fragment 7 Part The 3Eclipse Surrealism in Variation of Time 125 Victor Burgin 7 Towards a Minor Surrealism: Paul Nougé and the Subversion of Images 125 8 Frédéric Thomas Suspended Relationships: The Montage Photography Books of Moshe Raviv 141 VorobeichicArt and Surrealism: an Exceptional.ISBN 9789058679109 . Martins Graham and Tacita Dean 85 6 Time and Order: Christa-Maria LermSelf-reflective Hayes Strategies in Photo Essays 103 Maren Polte 6 Entertaining Conceptual Art: Dan Graham on Dean Martin 103 Eric C. Contents Introduction Acknowledgements vii vii Jan Baetens. A Minor Approach 39 Part 2Bleyen Mieke Returning Time / Memory / Order 4 Time2 Major and Memory Part Artists -in William Minor Henry Fox Talbot’s Calotypes of Oxford and Practice? 67 David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson’s of St Andrews 4 Fear of Reflections: Graham Smith The Photoworks of Paul McCarthy 65 Neil Matheson 5 Between Present and Past: Photographic Portugal of the 1950s 85 5 Considering the Minor in the Literary and Photographic Works of Rodney Susana S. 2012 .H. Belgian Liaison 8 Conceptual 145 Andrea Nelson Liesbeth Decan 9 ‘An image of an image’: Photography and Robert Morris’s Continuous 165 9 Systematic Confusion and the Total Discredit of the World of Reality: Project Altered Surrealism Daily and Photography in Japan of the 1930s 163 David Green Jelena Stojković Notes on the Authors 185 Notes on the authors 185 Color Section 189 v Reprint from Minor Photography . Alexander Streitberger. Hilde Van Gelder Introduction ix Mieke Bleyen Part 1 Time and Technology / Devices for Time 1 Part 1 Towards Fixing a Theory Transience: of the Minor Photography and other Images of Time in 1830s London 3 1 From ChitraStuttering Ramalingam and Stammering to the Diagram: Towards a Minor Art Practice? 3 2 Spooked Time: The Temporal Dimensions of Spirit Photography Simon O’Sullivan 27 2 Tichý Louis as Kaplan a Maverick: Singular Figure of a Minor Photography? 17 3 Gilles Modern Rouffineau Time: Revisiting the Tableau 47 3 Always Joanna in Lowry the Middle: the Photographic Work of Marcel Mariën.© Leuven University Press.

Reprint from Minor Photography .© Leuven University Press.ISBN 9789058679109 . 2012 .

I would also like to thank all photographers/artists and other copyright holders for their permission to reproduce the selected works in this volume.© Leuven University Press. 2012 . We were pleasantly surprised to see that our interest and enthusiasm was shared with many others. Acknowledgements Acknowledgements When in the Spring of 2010 we started organizing a conference on the topic of ‘Minor Photography. My first words of gratitude go to all authors present in this book and the generosity with which they engaged in this intellectual adventure.’ we had no idea of how the concept would be received.ISBN 9789058679109 . Finally. A special word of thank goes to Jan Baetens. they also offered numerous new perspectives as to how the ‘minor’ in the field of photography could be elaborated. directors of the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography and inspiring editors of this series. My most whole-hearted thanks to Esther Rosser and Jeroen Verbeeck for carefully and critically reading and re-reading the manuscript. Not only have they greatly contributed to the debate. This book would not have been possible without the sustained support of Hilde Van Gelder and Alexander Streitberger. who has been one of the driving forces behind the Minor Photography project from its very beginning. vii Reprint from Minor Photography . I would like to thank KULeuven for financially support- ing this research project.

ISBN 9789058679109 . 2012 .Reprint from Minor Photography .© Leuven University Press.

It brings to the fore the intense and affective qualities of language by moving language to the borders of its representational level. Drawing on Franz Kafka’s diary.ISBN 9789058679109 . makes it stutter and stammer. In ix Reprint from Minor Photography . In other words. 2007). Introduction Introduction Mieke Bleyen How can we consider photography as variation and multiplicity? In recent years. the centre has questioned the dominant conceptions of the medium as a fixed slice of time and place and contributed to the opening of photogra- phy theory towards questions of duration. As the subtitle of this volume suggests. November 2009) and two fruitful days of exploring how this concept of the ‘minor’ could be useful for the photographic field. Collective Inventions. 2012 . the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography has been tackling this ques- tion in multiple ways. a minor literature is always immediately connected to politics. It was in this context that the concept of ‘minor photography’ came into focus. its immediate political nature. Further. for instance. and its collective enunciation. In line with contemporary developments in photographic research. the notion of minor photography is borrowed from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari who first elaborated the concept of a minor literature in Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature (1986). understood less as a label than as a valuable tool to conceive photography in a more dynamic and relational way. towards music or silence. Deleuze and Guattari defined minor literature in terms of its high coefficient of deterritorializa- tion. with a special interest for national frameworks.© Leuven University Press. It has also reconsidered the ‘place’ of photography by addressing the relationship between the global and the local. a minor literature deterritorializes the dominant use of a language. narration and movement. The contributions in this book are the out- come of the conference ‘Minor Photography: The Case of (Post)Surrealism’ (Leu- ven. addressed Surrealism in Belgium and problematized an all too easy hierarchized binary thinking in terms of center (Surrealism in Paris) and periphery (Allmer and Van Gelder.

’ The glitch plays a double role by providing ‘a moment of critique.’ who lacks any clear biographical roots and continuously runs through all segments of society.’ Importantly.’ Kafka. a people yet to come. for that would be to remain within the same realm. Accordingly the vari- ables can be treated in such a way as to extract from them constants and constant relations (re/territorialization). Minor Photography such literature each individual intrigue is immediately related to the political as exemplified by Kafka’s character ‘K. Rather the politics of the minor is connected to a becoming. Basically this implies that within minor literatures writers try to efface themselves and articulate collective voices. rather they are closely intertwined and together involve what Simon O’Sullivan in the first essay of this volume describes as ‘the glitch. After all every x Reprint from Minor Photography . a moment of negation—but also a moment of creation and of affirmation. pointing to an outside (of knowledge. Major or minor as such do not qualify two different languages (for instance official language versus dialects).ISBN 9789058679109 . or making-sense). This does not imply. in terms of variation. or merely to find a new dominant voice to replace the existing standard. but two different usages of the same language. In short. however. But if the minor writer becomes a spokesperson for a collective. Finally. the twin notions of minor/ major are not to be regarded as simply another binary opposition but rather as concepts that should enable us to escape binary thinking. Of course these three features of minor literature do not operate in isolation from each other. this something different attempting to get through. a work of demolition which is continuously the building of a new assemblage. Here politics is not understood as overt political critique. writing in the dried-out German of the Habsburg bureaucratic apparatus. or Afro-American literature are examples of such minor usages. and with it literature. in this Deleuzo-Guattarian context. which could then be defined as a minor use.’ It functions as a kind of circuit breaker. they serve to think language. Or they can be twisted and intensified (deterritorialization). two different treatments of the continuous variation that is virtual in every language.© Leuven University Press. in other words to a ‘“sound” of something else. it is rather that which a minor- ity constructs within a major language (Deleuze and Guattari. in a minor literature everything takes on a collective value. 2012 . that minor literature is the sole privilege of minorities such as immigrants forced to function in a language that is not their own. it is necessarily one that is still in the making—a people which are missing. in which case we could speak of a major use. 1986a: 16-17). This is also why Deleuze and Guattari write that a minor literature ‘doesn’t come from a minor language.

To start with. an assemblage comes into play (Deleuze and Guattari. necessarily take into account the binaries and the changing hierarchies that are operative within a strongly varied photographic field.’ Indeed. In that sense. photography in xi Reprint from Minor Photography . it would be naïve to apply the notion to photography without acknowl- edging that a shift from literature to photography means a change in medium. bringing it towards its borders. Any discussion of photography in terms of the minor must. and along the way deterritorializing the dominant codes of representation by operating directly in society. Applying the notion of the minor to the new milieu of photography might also challenge and transform our first understanding of the minor in its turn. linguistic Third World zones by which a language can escape. Introduction language is open for minor usage. it is a photography that shifts and mutates the standardized way of practicing photography.ISBN 9789058679109 . 2002). It causes short circuits within the dominant codes of photographic representation and as such creates a ‘glitch. and thus already entails the first ‘making travel. this collection of essays is less a translation of minor literature to photographic terms than a transfer. It does not as much seek to develop a unique voice or style than to both address and speak for a future community. which pins us on the white wall of signi- fiance and sucks us into the black holes of subjectivity—the example of Facebook here comes easily to mind. therefore. connecting the minor with photography necessarily implies reading Deleuze against the grain.’ In short. Deleuze and Guattari seem not at all to have been attracted to photography. to make a minor or intensive use of it. to find points of nonculture or underdevelopment. For those writers who don’t have access to this kind of deterritorialized language Deleuze and Guattari advise to ‘make use of the polylingualism of one’s own language. 2003). 1986a: 26-27).© Leuven University Press. an animal enters into things. 2012 . Photography here comes to stand for what Deleuze and Guattari have described in A Thousand Plateaus (1988) as the reigning regime of faciality.’ In analogy. minor photography could then be considered as photography that experiments with the medium. or to borrow a phrase from Mieke Bal—a ‘making travel’ of the concept (Bal. to oppose the oppressed quality of this language to its oppressive quality. and this has everything to do with the way they equated the medium with the logic of the ‘cliché’—photography’s documentary and representational qualities—and with memory or narrative illustration (Deleuze. Obviously. instead of merely representing it. In an almost un-Deleuzian way then.

becoming and event (Wittmann.’ In recent years both Deleuze scholars and photography researchers have started reading Deleuze and Guattari’s writings against the grain. Obviously. Sutton. Kramp. Minor Photography this context appears as a metaphor for the ‘cliché. Their writings suggest that in order to think of photography in terms of the minor we will necessarily need to deterritorialize Deleuze and Guattari’s own writings.’ which immobilizes the instant. 2012 . standardized usage. Victor Burgin or Martha Rosler (to name but a few). adopting their concepts in order to think photography precisely in terms of duration. 2011: 1). and its relation to the development of bourgeois subjectivity in an era of capitalism is shared by a large number of prominent theoreticians/practitioners of photography. 2009. Deleuze.ISBN 9789058679109 .© Leuven University Press. 2007. Deleuze reduced photography to the snapshot—the immobile entity from which the moving image in cinema is constituted. In a similar fashion. Yet this did not pre- vent these same authors/artists to continue to assert the critical (political) potential xii Reprint from Minor Photography . by considering photography as a ‘mould of time. 2012).’ Today. 2009. 1960: 8. since its invention photography has had very different incarnations and has been the object of many debates about what the medium could or should be. in his first volume on Cinema. Recent theories of photography approach the medium as multiplicity and aim at better understanding its ‘multifaceted and complex character (Kriebel. Van Gelder and Westgeest. This does not mean that Deleuze and Guattari’s observations on photography as ‘cliché’ are of no relevance at all but rather that what they describe as the ‘cli- ché’ should in itself already be considered as an example of photography’s major. In fact. Deleuze and Guattari’s unfavorable attitude towards photography’s role in the politics of representation. In many respects. 1986b: 24). the very idea that photography—encompassing techniques and practices as different as the nineteenth century daguerreotype and the digitally created and stored photography of our own era—can be captured in one essentializing defini- tion seems no longer tenable. confront them with their outside.’ leaving no space left to think the medium as multiplicity or variation. he inscribed himself in a tradition of writers discussing photography in relation to cinema. Indeed. Deleuze was not the first to theorize photography in terms of stillness and immobility against the experience of duration in the moving image of cinema. such as Allan Sekula. This reciprocal relation is what this book is all about. bringing to mind André Bazin’s often quoted statement that photography ‘embalms time (Bazin.

In a similar way. Flusser here points at the dark side of deskiling. and in photographic terms. but one in which the photographer does not play with but against his plaything (Flusser. photographs thus hold society xiii Reprint from Minor Photography . To quote Flusser: the camera has become a ‘structurally com- plex.’ as a result of which ‘everyone can make a photograph. Flusser’s writings demonstrate that it is perfectly possible to acknowledge the ‘visual pollution’ of photographic clichés while simultaneously leaving the door open for photographic practices that oper- ate against those clichés.’ Seen from this perspective. but functionally simple plaything. and make the dominant use of the medium stammer. Central in Flusser’s theory of photography is that the camera is an apparatus. Photography. etc… It is precisely the role of the black box and the power of its program(mer). As such it is programmed in a way that the camera’s competences are always greater than that of its functionaries (the photographers). the socio-economic system. Deleuze and Guattari invite us to map the movements of de. as a transparent window on reality and as an objective representation acquired a dominant major position and thus became the photographic ‘cliché. the camera has become increasingly easy to manipulate. 2006: 27). the interior of which is an impenetrable black box.ISBN 9789058679109 .and re-territorialization that are operative within the photographic field.’ but ‘very few know how the apparatus actually functions (ibid. By its mechanism of social feedback. it becomes all the more important to question how the notion of the photograph as a slice of time. its outside. as for instance by the art institute or the mass media’s apparatuses of capture. has much in common with a game. can be found in Vilém Flusser’s Towards a Philosophy of Photography (2006).’ Appearing to be screens or windows of reality. then. the contributions in this volume all testify to a common belief that photography as a medium is open both to major and minor usages. A photographer thus can only control the camera’s exterior and has to obey the rules of the program hidden in the black box. Their concept of the minor makes us aware of the lines of flight that orient certain photographic practices away from the ‘cliché’ and yet equally of the reterritorializations that neutralize and tame them again. One interesting way to think about the notion of the photographic cliché in a more dynamic way. that is systematically being underes- timated. and continuously improving itself by the mechanism of social feedback. Aiming to produce better and ever more photographs. 2012 . Hence. or at least.: 57). making human beings the functions of the apparatus instead of the other way around.© Leuven University Press. Introduction of that very same medium. this program in its turn relies on other programs: the photo- graphic industry.

In doing so. Although hardly mentioning photography. dominant way of photographing. which he pushes towards its limits (deterritorializa- tion). still remains very close to the writings of Deleuze and Guattari and serves as the theoretical back- bone to which the many references to minor literature in other essays can be related. One could say it maps the territory from where the concept of minor photography can begin to travel. It is in this context of ‘visual pollution’ that the experimental photographer comes in.’ that he finds in the concepts of the figural. But how can this xiv Reprint from Minor Photography . for Flusser. 2012 . Flusser then allows us to appreci- ate the mutual interaction between major photography (the highly programmed. probe-heads or the dia- gram introduced in Deleuze’s book on Francis Bacon’s painting. he consciously uses his camera against itself. exhausts its program. experimental photographers are ‘in miniature. people of the apparatus future’ (collectivization) and ‘give rise to a model of freedom in the post-industrial context in general (ibid.’ as Deleuze and Guattari would call them. In that sense Simon O’Sullivan’s essay ‘From Stuttering and Stammering to the Diagram: Towards a Minor Art Practice?’ serves as the perfect entry.© Leuven University Press.’ the aim of the essays gathered in this book is then to give rise to many more productive encounters and to make the notion of minor literature/photography travel further. which Deleuze calls the photographic ‘cliché’) and a minor photography. which continuously pushes that program towards its own borders but which—by processes of feedback—also risks being captured again by that very program. Hence. O’Sullivan sets the scene by opening the notion of minor literature towards other writings by Deleuze and Guattari on art and connecting them to contemporary art practices. he smuggles in a space for human intention within the apparatus (politiciza- tion). Throughout the world people are making ever more redundant images using the same categories or ‘clichés. Minor Photography under a magical spell. If Flusser offers a first tool to think photography beyond or against the ‘cliché. Theorizing the Minor however. It is precisely the stuttering and stammering quality of minor literature.ISBN 9789058679109 . realizing images which were not yet predicted within the program. Hunting for situations never seen before. with a photomania as result. O’Sullivan is especially interested in the way the minor helped Deleuze and Guat- tari to think literature beyond representation. The first section of this book.’ Seen from the Deleuzo-Guattarian perspective.: 80-82). this ‘undoing of representation’ related to ‘the glitch.

This kind of approach is less interested in questions of origin and destination than in what moves in the middle. in order to enable them to discuss Kafka’s writings (in German) in terms of a minor literature. I argue that it is in the middle that the work of Mariën should be located.’ This essay further elaborates the definition of a minor literature by confronting Deleuze and Guattari’s definition with its source material: the diary of Franz Kafka. as for instance between professional and amateur prac- tices.’ This exploration of the minor takes place within a continuous dia- logue on photography and the very specific. art history’s classic recipes and terminology such as ‘evolution/(neo)-avant-garde. Rouffineau introduces the peculiar case of ‘outsider’ photographer Miroslav Tichý as a possible example of minor photography and explores the tensions that arise when a minor practice is suddenly ‘discovered.’ a thinking in genealogies (schools and generations) has little to offer. To grasp his work. by replacing them by a rhizomatic thinking of alliances. These concepts allowed me to address the problem of the ‘belated’ in the work of Marcel Mariën. 2012 . Surrealist of the second generation who worked until the early 1990s. A Minor Approach.ISBN 9789058679109 . ‘Always in the Middle: the Photographic Work of Marcel Mariën. dynamic position it has been occupy- ing with regard to the art world. where the notion was first mentioned to describe literature written in the language of a (political) minority (vehicular Czech or mythic Yiddish). which Deleuze and Guattari developed more elaborately in A Thousand Plateaus (1988). now defined as ‘that what a minority constructs within a major language (Deleuze and Guattari 1986a: 16). Within this context. from its very beginnings the medium has had its proper regulations and hierarchical divisions.’ takes a more methodological turn. have many advantages and permit thought beyond family trees. a minor aesthetics which precisely moves xv Reprint from Minor Photography . Indeed. It explores the minor in connection to other concepts such as rhizome or becoming. My own contribution to this book. Introduction thinking beyond representation be connected to photography what O’Sullivan refers to as ‘the representational medium?’ What is photography’s glitch? A first possible answer comes from Gilles Rouffineau’s essay ‘Tichý as a Maverick: Sin- gular Figure of a Minor Photography.’ and introduced within the art institute. photography could for most part of its history be considered a minor practice in relation to the major art field. The concepts proposed by Deleuze and Guattari on the other hand. Rouffineau argues that Deleuze and Guattari’s appro- priation of Kafka’s concept involved a certain inversion. This can also be connected to the very specific aesthetics developed by Mariën. On the other hand.© Leuven University Press.

that the book as object for ‘bilingual’ activity comes in and involves a becoming minor. In the work of Tacita Dean or Rodney Graham for instance the minor seems not only active in the choice for an ‘archaic’ analogue technology but also in the lines of flight away from visual art towards literary writing.© Leuven University Press. As Deleuze and Guattari dem- onstrated in their Kafka-book. Matheson’s essay points to the inherently subversive.’ Eric de Bruyn argues that the xvi Reprint from Minor Photography .’ Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes. and the notion of becoming-animal. Lerm Hayes highlights the interaction between Dean and Graham’s photographic and literary production. in that it asks for new approaches and strategies. on the other hand. dem- onstrate how minor photography is not the exclusive terrain of photographers or artists working in the margins. The minor in this section often becomes as much a methodology as a definition. thinking in terms of the minor very likely brings with it a break with classic readings—psychoanalytical. In ‘Considering the Minor in the Literary and Photographic Works of Rodney Graham and Tacita Dean. Matheson pro- duces an encounter between the early photoworks of Paul McCarthy and Deleuze and Guattari’s book on Kafka. His interest lies not only in Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of a minor literature but also in their conception of the ‘law’ as imma- nence. all highly relevant for McCarthy’s work. art and porn. More in general. but how minor operations can be found within what could be considered major or canonical practices. in the confrontation with the outside that their practices tend to become minor.ISBN 9789058679109 . professional and amateur photographic practice and as such makes photography stammer. It is at this junction between both practices. ‘Entertaining Conceptual Art: Dan Graham on Dean Martin. public and private. political (minor) associations that photography still carried in the early 1970s. between image and word and indicates that it is precisely in the contact zones. 2012 . in the case of Kafka—and demands instead a form of experimentation. ‘Fear of Reflection: The Photoworks of Paul McCarthy’ by Neil Matheson brings such an experiment. deals with photographic practices that are today fully accepted within the contemporary art world but in which nevertheless. causing it to attract many performance artists and con- ceptual artists who wanted to deterritorialize the language of art. demanding attention for certain aspects of works or practices that previously remained under the radar. a mapping of the lines of flight and movements of de-/re-territorialization. Major Artists – Minor Practices. The essays in the second part of the book. In the last essay of this section. Minor Photography between high and low. minor usages can be discerned. their criticism of Oedipal readings.

with the ways the photographic work of many now called ‘conceptual artists’ in Belgium in the 1960s and 1970s xvii Reprint from Minor Photography . which often comes down to a reduction to its Parisian forms. The essays in this part seek to contribute to a remapping of the history of Surrealist photography. with a special focus on the dynamics between the so-called ‘center’ or dominant position and ‘periphery’ or marginal position. With its witty commentary on the dogmatics of French Surrealism.’ Liesbeth Decan deals with belated and variable forms of Surrealism. By redirecting the focus to the creative function of jokes and wit in conceptual art. de Bruyn shows that one such persistent blind spot has been conceptual art’s more humorous. Surrealist photogra- phy is considered in its heterogeneity. One such variant of Surrealism can be found in the parasitic model of Belgian Surre- alism. like automatic writing practices this photographic series also sharply brings into view the often ambiguous relationship between a Surrealism on the margins (Brussels) that in many ways cherished its liberating distance from the Center (Paris).© Leuven University Press. It relates many of the above-mentioned questions to a very specific corpus of (post)Surrealist photography. 2012 .ISBN 9789058679109 . Surrealism in Variation. witty side.’ Thomas argues that the Subversion of Images series is exemplary for the way the Brussels’ Surrealists parasitically appropriated dominant. Drawing upon Paolo Virno’s 2008 essay. or rather. Introduction non-dialectical notions of minor and major can work as useful correctives to some of the blind spots and exclusions within major art history. de Bruyn (with Graham) pushes against and beyond the grid of seriousness and academic discourse within which major art history has locked up conceptual art. creating lines of flight and addressing a people yet to come. subverting it by the unmistakable mediated qualities of montage and staging. its affinity for entertainment and television.’ de Bruyn argues that jokes in art can become minor forces. further challenges major art history and explores the minor as a useful tool to consider photography as multiplicity. Instead. Belgian Liaison. For that reason Nougé turned the documentary style as a tool to clinically and transparently trap the world against itself. as discussed by Frédéric Thomas in ‘Towards a Minor Surrealism: Paul Nougé and the Subversion of Images. The third section. ‘Jokes and Innovative Action. they question the idea of a universal Surrealist language of photography. In ‘Conceptual Art and Surrealism: an Exceptional. Starting from an inter- view published in Artforum in which Dan Graham compared the conceptual art- ist with a stand-up comedian. habitual ways of seeing or dealing with the world and its objects in order to subvert these daily habits—Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘clichés’—from within. In line with recent developments in Surrealism scholar- ship.

Minor Photography formed a peculiar assemblage with Surrealism. xviii Reprint from Minor Photography . Decan argues that in Belgium the connection between both ‘movements’ went well beyond Surrealism’s and Conceptual Art’s generally acknowledged com- mon interest in deskilled usage of the medium. she explores how the deterritorial- ized language of Surrealism offered the Japanese photographers an escape route from the territorial photographic language that was associated with the propagan- distic form of photojournalism supported by the Imperial state apparatus. Stojković employs the notion of minor photography to offer a more inclusive and affirma- tive reading of the broad range of photographs that has often been considered in terms of lack: an absence of a ‘center’ or group that could organize Surrealism’s collective action and of the cultural tools to thoroughly understand and inter- pret the language and program of Surrealism. As such. from Deleuze and Guat- tari’s writings to photography and back. this necessar- ily implies the writing of minor histories of photography. of course. producing a corpus that creatively deviates from that of the mainly Anglo-Saxon canon of conceptual art. but also produced a locally embedded minor form of conceptual art. This book closes with ‘Systematic Confusion and the Total Discredit of the World of Reality: Surrealism and Photography in Japan of the 1930s.ISBN 9789058679109 . and notably with the work of René Magritte. and its special ties to reality or explorations of text-image relationships. leaving us with the challenging suggestion that if we want to start thinking in terms of minor photography. come temporarily to an end. the essay demonstrates that conceptual artists in Belgium worked in continuation with the Surrealist legacy and took over many of the procedures that were typical of Brus- sels Surrealism. 2012 . the voyages undertaken in this volume. understood in an affirmative Deleuzo-Guattarian way. photography’s reproducibility.© Leuven University Press. Rather. Rather than remaining within the logic of this relationship of center/periphery. such as re-writing and staging practices.’ Jelena Stojković’s essay on deterritorialized forms of Surrealist photography in Japan. With Stojković’s essay. Magritte’s word-image explorations. these concep- tual artists not only ‘minorized’ the dominant codes of art photography. the creation of disturbing objects. and.

1 (2009). Habberjam (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Images_de_l_invisible/Wittmann.’ Image [&] Narrative. ¬¬ Michael Kramp ‘Unburdening Life. ¬¬ Sabine Kriebel.’ in James Elkins (ed. extended: Hiroshi Sugimoto with Gilles Deleuze. 2 (New York: Routledge. ¬¬ Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. B.html [consulted May 24. Memory: The Crystal Image of Time (Lon- don: University of Minnesota Press. available at: http://www. ¬¬ Gilles Deleuze. 1986b). H. ‘The Ontology of the Photographic Image. Smith (London: Continuum. ¬¬ Mirjam Wittmann.’ in Deleuze and Photography. W. Mas- sumi (London: Athlone Press. 23 (2012).© Leuven University Press. The Art Seminar. Photography. Film Quarterly. 2012]. 2003).net/issue23/kramp/index. Lieven Gevaert Series. ‘Time. trans. 5 (Leuven: Leuven University Press. ¬¬ Mieke Bal. available at: http://rhi- zomes. Cinema. ‘Theories of Photography: A Short History. ¬¬ Vilém Flusser. Photography Theory in Historical Per- spective. D. trans. Tomlinson and B. A Thousand Plateaus [1980]. ¬¬ Damian Sutton.imageandnarrative. ¬¬ Gilles Deleuze.htm [consulted May 27. 1988). 2002). 2007). Green College Lectures (Toronto: University of Toronto. 13. Gray.). 2009). Rhizomes. Collective Inventions: Surrealism in Belgium.ISBN 9789058679109 . ¬¬ Hilde Van Gelder and Helen Westgeest. 2006). 1960): 4-9. Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books. 4 (Summer. Case Studies from Contemporary Art (Boston: Wiley-Blackwell. Polan (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image [1983]. 1986a). trans. X. 2006): 1-49. D.’ trans. xix Reprint from Minor Photography . trans. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation [1981]. ¬¬ Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature [1975]. ¬¬ Patricia Allmer and Hilde Van Gelder (eds). Photography Theory. 2012]. or the Deleuzian Potential of Photogra- phy. 2012 . Travelling Concepts in the Humanities: a Rough Guide. H. Introduction Bibliography ¬¬ André Bazin. 2011).

ISBN 9789058679109 . 2012 .© Leuven University Press.Reprint from Minor Photography .