Copyright the artists, 2010, courtesy Shane Lavalette and Lay Flat
The second edition of Lay Flat, edited and published by Shane Lavalette, is titled Meta, with Guest Editor Michael Buhler-Rose. The intent, as stated by Shane, brings together a selection of contemporary artists whose photographs are conceptually engaged with the history, conventions and materiality of the medium itself.
Written essays are provided by Adam Bell, Lesley A. Martin, Alex Klein, Noel Rodo-Vankeulen and Arthur Ou, and a discussion between Lyle Rexer and James Welling.
From Martin, a thoughtful observation; “…artists using other people’s images have a staggeringly diverse range of motions and methods for putting existing images to work for them, each with its own nuanced term and subtle philosophical affiliation – bricolage, montage, collage, and the comparatively straight-edged appropriation. Even so, there are some basic commonalities, including an inherent critique of or commentary on the culture from which the images are drawn.”
And her question for us to consider and further reflect upon: “Is this just a secondary phase of “Pictures Generation” thinking, or are there characteristics that distinguish this most-contemporary iteration of secondary images use as a building block for one’s own artistic practice?”
The diverse range of photographs within this context are provided by Claudia Angelmaier, Semâ Bekirovic, Charles Benton, Walead Beshty, Lucas Blalock, Talia Chetrit, Anne Collier, Natalie Czech, Jessica Eaton, Roe Ethridge, Sam Falls, Stephen Gill, Daniel Gordon, David Haxton, Matt Keegan, Elad Lassry, Katja Mater, Laurel Nakadate, Lisa Oppenheim, Torbjørn Rødland, Noel Rodo-Vankeulen, Joachim Schmid, Penelope Umbrico, Useful Photography, Charlie White, Ann Woo (also cover photograph) and Mark Wyse.
This edition is a stiff cover perfect-bound book, while the first edition was published with loose prints. Asking Shane about this, he responded;
“To answer your question about the shift from loose prints to the more traditional magazine/book format; Each edition of Lay Flat is assembled in collaboration with a ‘Guest Editor’, a process that helps to push the publication in a new direction every time. For Lay Flat 02: Meta a more traditional format was decided upon, though we included some of the most non-traditional work out there (perhaps this is why). As the publication evolves, I hope to experiment and explore more unique/unusual formats, some of which may not resemble books at all.”
by Douglas Stockdale