Thomas Tulis, “Untitled (See Rock City),” 1991, cibachrome print
[Ed.—When I started pulling together links and articles for this web roundup, I was halfway through before realizing they were all somehow tied to my years as a photography student in Texas during the mid-90s. But I figured if Artforum could run two consecutive issues devoted to their editor’s Reagan-riffic glory days, one Around the Web about the “Photoshop 4” years wouldn’t hurt. This post goes out to everyone who lived through this.]*
Just as most photographers have one picture or one image-maker who inspired them to pick up a camera, A.D. Coleman was the single impetus for my interest in photo criticism. Critical Focus and Light Readings were my sacred texts in college, and they inspired me to start making sense of the exhibitions I was voraciously consuming by writing out my analysis and opinion. (I really wish I could find those early stabs at the work of Mariko Mori, Cassio Vasconcellos, and Thomas Tulis.) When I saw Coleman in Houston a few months ago, he said that he was essentially retired from journalistic criticism, and had turned his focus to poetry and curatorial projects (including a retrospective of the wonderful Arno Rafael Minniken and a group exhibition of Chinese documentary photographers), and writes essays at a more measured pace than in previous decades. He also maintains C: The Speed of Light, which along with ZoneZero, were the sites for photonerds in those early years of the interweb. I was poking around on Coleman’s online newsletter today, and ran across a typically smart and readable essay about photographic experimentation that he wrote in 2000 for the exhibition this is [not] a photograph. You can read it here (pdf), but probably for a short time only, before it heads off for the Photography Criticism CyberArchive.
Mark Steinmetz, from the series “South Central,” 1991-3
Speaking of Thomas Tulis, things seem very inactive on his front, as far as I discern from Googleville. He, William Greiner, and Mark Steinmetz were my Southern-photographer heroes in college, but Tulis has an elusive presence online today. There’s a fairly comical Wiki (“Tulis lives a very simple life.”), a five-year old article about starving artists in Atlanta, an online gallery of his paintings (who knew?), which are… um… different…, and an Amy Stein post inquiring as to his whereabouts that went unanswered. (Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the pictures I discovered of Tulis shirtless. At least we know he looks good.) Thomas—the internet calls you. Please turn up online to claim your Recently Rediscovered/Unfairly Obscured Photographer e-card!
There’s been a rash of online video interviews with photographers making the rounds lately, but how about taking a break, making your English teacher happy, and reading interviews with contemporary masters over at the Journal of Contemporary Art. Take a pick from a huge selection of gems from the mid-90s, such as Uta Barth, Larry Clark, Miwa Yanagi, Joan Fontcuberta, and Cindy Sherman, who I think is really going to go somewhere with this photography thing if she sticks with it!
Finally, in keeping with this theme of Pecker-era photography, I’d like to send a shout-out to See: A Journal of Visual Culture, which was, in my opinion, the finest American photo magazine of the decade, and which I sorely miss.
*[Doesn’t it seem odd that Metamorphoses was reviewed here?]