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© Stefan Frank
The Photobook Show

The World is Not Flat

episode 8

Wed, March 22, 2023 at 2pm (ET)
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A picture is flat, while the world it depicts is not — and it took painting and photography quite a while to become aware of this fact.The art critic Clement Greenberg places this realization — that a picture is flat — at the very beginning of modernism: “Modernism used art to call attention to art. The limitations that constitute the medium of painting — the flat surface … came to be regarded as positive factors.…” There is a tension that arises between our three-dimensional world and the flatness of the picture whenever we press the shutter. In this episode, we’ll look at books featuring artists for whom this tension is central for their practice: Thomas Demand, the Swedish photographer Dawid, Steve Kahn, Christopher Wool, and Charlotte Posenenske.

Watch the recording of this episode

Stefan Frank

Stefan Frank is a photographer and writer, working from Heidelberg, Germany. Way before he came to photography, he studied mathematics and philosophy at Ruhr Universität Bochum and worked as an IT specialist. He studied at Atelier Smedsby with JH Engström and Margot Wallard in Paris in 2017, before he eventually began studying photography at Ostkreuzschule, Berlin, with Peter Bialobrzeski. He graduated in 2023 with the work Irgendwo (“Anywhere”), a project dealing with politically motivated crime and the terror-spree of the far right in Germany. He has been teaching with StrudelmediaLive since 2020, giving courses on surrealism, poetics of space, gestalt theory for photographers, and more. His work has been exhibited in Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and Berlin.

Stefan teaches the poetics of space, nighttime photography, and much more — including presenting The Photobook Show — for StrudelmediaLive.