Shifting Places

Peter Downsbrough, the Photographs

Alexander Streitberger (Author),

Series: Lieven Gevaert Series 12

Category: Art, Media and Visual Culture, Photography

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058678720

Publication date: August 8, 2011

€34.50 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 188

Size: 230 x 170 x 10 mm

Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Stock item: 63593

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Since the late 1960s Peter Downsbrough has been an important figure in contemporary art, associated with major international art movements as minimal art, conceptual art, and visual poetry. In his artistic work he explores various fields including sculpture, architecture, books, film, and photography. This book provides, for the first time, a profound insight into Downsbrough’s diverse and complex use of photography within his artistic work over the last 40 years. A substantial essay by Alexander Streitberger discusses the artist’s photographic work – which includes single prints, series, postcards, collages, and books – within its aesthetic and historical context. Streitberger relates Downsbrough’s work to fundamental issues of photographic practice and discourse such as the photograph as document, the representation of urban space, space-time relations, collage as an aesthetic and political means of expression, the relationship between still and moving image, and the context of presentation. The rich image material – some of which has never been published before – is arranged by the artist himself in order to create a fertile exchange between the topics of the text and his own intervention. Concluding with an exclusive interview with the artist, the book offers a real dialogue between artistic practice and theoretical reflexion.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).


Place and Time


Color Photographs


Still Moving




Alexander Streitberger

Alexander Streitberger is professor of modern and contemporary art history at the UCLouvain and director of the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art, and Visual Culture.

Presenting many unpublished photographs, 'Shifting Places' gives occasion to consider this especially important category of the artist's work. Some of the most beautiful images convey a sense of uncanny formalization, whereby the obviously deliberate framing of some particular element, such as the central zip of a center pole of a sunlit New York subway car (typically inferable as a row of several) allows, in a 1978 image, for seemingly fortuitous alignments of shadows, and compensations, more than contrived compositional balance, in the different distributions of elements, left and right. I love the resultant sense of unforced order, and so would Kant!
Joseph Mashek, The Brooklyn Rail

Verticale resonanties
Volkmar Mühleis ontrafelt in een bespreking van 'Shifting Places' de blik van auteur Alexander Streitberger op de eigenzinnige subtiliteit van Downsbroughs fotografisch werk.
FAKtor, Maart 2012

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