Photography sneaks into Frieze

posted by Bridget on 25 October 2013

The Frieze Art Fair is 'in'famous for not accepting galleries who specialise in photography, yet every year photography is included in the mix of art on display.

Specialism can lead to an expertise in a subject or genre but it can also lead to a cul-de-sac or ghetto. Nascient ideas, artistic forms, political movements have often kept it local and separated, before broadening out into the mainstream. And so it has been for photography, championed by passionate specialists but stuck within its separatist milieu.

Is the fact that Frieze doesn't accept specialist photography galleries now a red herring; its determination to exclude something that seeks to be accepted finally redundant. When so much photography is shown every year, perhaps the question isn't any longer why doesn't Frieze accept applications from photography galleries, but what does it say about photography that so much is shown at the elite art fair.

Francis Hodgson put it very well when he said of Thomas Struth, [someone who wanted to be known as an artist and is now happy to be called a photographer]...He is a major artist of our times, and no one notices that he works in photographs. That's as it should be. It's an art form of its own, but is also a medium for artists."

To read more of Hodgson's review of Frieze click here.

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