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Precarious TimesTemporality and History in Modern German Culture$
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Anne Fuchs

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501735103

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501735103.001.0001

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Contemporary Perspectives

Contemporary Perspectives

Precarious Time(s) in Photography and Film

(p.115) 3 Contemporary Perspectives
Precarious Times

Anne Fuchs

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines time in contemporary culture. Slowness as an aesthetic practice and a mode of reception features prominently in much contemporary photography and film, defying the fast-paced entertainment conventions and the capitalist commodification of time, as are evident, for example, in recent blockbusters. While mainstream films favor fast-paced cutting, jerky and unfocused panning, or hectic zooming, slow cinema and slow photography embrace grammars of minimalism to interrupt the cult of speed. Slowness in this sense is more than a binary term in opposition to speed: it is an aesthetic art practice that may include the employment of digital or analogue technologies; slow diegesis and slow narrative; the gallery or cinema as a contemplative exhibition or reception space; and a responsive spectatorship. The chapter then debates the concept of slow art in dialogue with international art practice, as exemplified in the performance art of Lee Lozano and Marina Abramović, before analyzing the representation of time in the works of two prominent German photographers: West German Michael Wesely and East German Ulrich Wüst.

Keywords:   slowness, contemporary photography, contemporary film, slow cinema, slow photography, minimalism, slow narrative, slow art, performance art, German photographers

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