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After Walker Evans (Levine, Sherrie), 1981

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remote from one other.» [20] Put very simply, in this way art history is created as an «art of fiction,» [21] , i.e. as an archive of intervisual relations. Despite certain initial difficulties, the double slide projection also incisively altered art historical theory in the nineteenth century. [22] There emerged what Wölfflin referred to—at the latest since 1915—as the history of style—in so far as the visual differences between pictures could become evident through slide projection. [23] Thus art history became a history of «what could be photographed.» [24] As Malraux pinpointed his considerations, he was not yet aware of how far-reaching this idea would one day become: Countless art forms—such as the performance, Land Art, the happening, Process Art, etc. [25] —which in their recourse to the fleeting and transitory use the strategy of a systematical ephemerization, would not have been conceivable as objects of art history without their photographic or cinematographic documentation.

Archive and art canon

Art history's fundamental reference to the


photographic archive (slide, textbook, etc.) irrefutably raises the question of which dispositives allow or deny inclusion in this constitutive archive. And this question is raised in particular by that art which is not yet a part of the archive and therefore (necessarily) aims to and must swirl up the sedimented order of the same: the avant-garde. Sherrie Levine, who attracted particular attention at the beginning of the 1980s and was soon regarded as the most important representative of ‹Appropriation Art,› is an example of an artist who reflects this process. In 1981 she emerged with her series «After Walker Evans.» Levine had photographed photographs taken by Walker Evans, which had been commissioned in 1936 by the magazine Fortune, and presented them in the gallery Metro Pictures. [26] He had taken them in cooperation with the writer James Agee in the Southern States and published them in 1939 as «Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.» [27] Levine's duplication of these photographs shifts the archival coordinates into which Evans' pictures had moved up to that point. Although Evans' photographs originally had a documentary function, they were consequently ennobled to art and moved

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