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Shooting Log

John Miller - Shooting Log
John Miller's photographic diary.
In 1994, John Miller began a series entitled The Middle of the Day, comprising thousands of photographs taken between 12pm and 2pm. This goes against the elementary rules of the discipline: not to photograph when the sun, shining at its zenith, makes shadows and contrasts disappear. What these photographs show at first glance are harmless, almost banal scenes. 
Divided into two sections, Shooting Log offers in its first part a text taking the form of a diary split into ten chapters accompanied by ten images all taken in 1994, including his very first photograph. 
The second section comprises a set of photographs from the series the Middle of the Day taken between 20 May 1994 and 4 July 2008.
The story of Shooting Log starts in the present, examining a picture taken in the past. Agreement between the past and present tenses of the photograph activates memories of the circumstances of the shooting and sometimes recovers those associated with what was actually photographed. Does the picture (re)awaken the memories? Or is it today's perception that (re-)reads the image and enhances it with a new story?
The Middle of the Day series at the heart of Shooting Log is also a diary in the strictest sense of the word since it accumulates documents, in this case photographs, which provide a day to day account. The journal is kept for the purpose of remembering past events, things seen, thoughts and emotions evoked. In Shooting Log, John Miller matches the coming and going between two superimposed "journals" with introspective comments on the photographic act.
Limited edition of 270 numbered copies.
Among such contemporaries as Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw, but also Tony Oursler and Stephen Prina, John Miller (born 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio, lives and works in New York City and Berlin) embodies a singular position: he articulates the synthesis of an ideologically committed critique of representation with a postconceptual shift toward the “real.” Using completely stereotyped genres (figurative painting, travel photography, landscape painting, and so on), Miller, like Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince, has, since the end of the 1970s, challenged the function of the author and the concomitant loss of aura of the artwork. Yet this critique is for him only a means of revealing the repressed aspect of the ideological aggregates of day-to-day late-capitalist Western culture.
First noticed for his brown “faux” abstract painting and objects recovered by a brown impasto, he resisted to what he calls “aesthetic appropriation” by regularly shifting his practice, introducing series such as the “Middle of the Day” photographs, game show sets and paintings, and golden maquettes through the 1980s and 1990s. This strategy of resistance to a reduction of his work to any critical tag explains why, despite the early critical recognition of his work by theoreticians such as Hal Foster, he is still overlooked among his generation.
Also a writer, John Miller became in 1987 the US Editor for Artscribe; he founded Acme Journal in 1991. For the past two decades, he has written intensively and published texts in Artforum, October and Texte zur Kunst, as well as in numerous museum publications. He has taught art at Columbia University, the School of Visual Art in New York, Yale University, and Cooper Union.
Graphic design: Thomas Bizzarri.
 
published in 2009
21,6 x 27,9 cm (softcover, box set)
112 pages (ill.)
 
95.00
 
in stock
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