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06年GRE模拟试题第6部分

2006-07-06 23:12

  The earliest controversies about the relationship

  between photography and art centered on whether photo-

  graphy's fidelity to appearances and dependence on a

  machine allowed it to be a fine art as distinct from

  (5) merely a practical art. Throughout the nineteenth century,

  the defense of photography was identical with the strug-

  gle to establish it as a fine art. Against the charge that

  photography was a soulless, mechanical copying of real-

  ity, photographers asserted that it was instead a privileged

  (10)way of seeing, a revolt against commonplace vision, and

  no less worthy an art than painting.

  Ironically, now that photography is securely established

  as a fine art, many photographers find it pretentious or

  irrelevant to label it as such. Serious photographers vari-

  (15)ously claim to be finding, recording, impartially observ-

  ing, witnessing events, exploring themselves-anything

  but making works of art. In the nineteenth century,

  photography's association with the real world placed it

  in an ambivalent relation to art; late in the twentieth

  (20)century, an ambivalent relation exists because of the

  Modernist heritage in art. That important photographers

  are no longer willing to debate whether photography is

  or is not a fine art, except to proclaim that their own

  work is not involved with art, shows the extent to which

  (25)they simply take for granted the concept of art imposed

  by the triumph of Modernism: the better the art, the

  more subversive it is of the traditional aims of art.

  Photographers' disclaimers of any interest in making

  art tell us more about the harried status of the contempo-

  (30)rary notion of art than about whether photography is or

  is not art. For example, those photographers who suppose

  that, by taking pictures, they are getting away from the

  pretensions of art as exemplified by painting remind us

  of those Abstract Expressionist painters who imagined

  (35)they were getting away from the intellectual austerity of

  classical Modernist painting by concentrating on the

  physical act of painting. Much of photography's prestige

  today derives from the convergence of its aims with those

  of recent art, particularly with the dismissal of abstract

  (40)art implicit in the phenomenon of Pop painting during

  the 1960's. Appreciating photographs is a relief to sensi-

  bilities tired of the mental exertions demanded by

  abstract art. Classical Modernist painting-that is,

  abstract art as developed in different ways by Picasso,

  (45)Kandinsky, and Matisse-presupposes highly developed

  skills of looking and a familiarity with other paintings

  and the history of art. Photography, like Pop painting,

  reassures viewers that art is not hard; photography seems

  to be more about its subjects than about art.

  (50)  Photography, however, has developed all the anxieties

  and self-consciousness of a classic Modernist art. Many

  professionals privately have begun to worry that the pro-

  motion of photography as an activity subversive of the

  traditional pretensions of art has gone so far that the

  (55)public will forget that photography is a distinctive and

  exalted activity-in short, an art.

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