John Pfahl

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“At that time there was a lot of conceptual art around which was documented by photographic means, but generally without any formal or even photographic interest. Nothing was there but the idea, and it was preferably shown in its most minimal form — as a poorly lighted, exposed, and printed black and white photo. You could not get lost in the print itself; you were always confronted with the idea.

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“I always felt that one of the basic beauties of the medium of photography was that there could be many levels of interpretation; a certain richness of multiple meanings. That is where I veered away from conceptual art. My photographs exist completely as photographs, with all the complexity intact, not merely as illustrations of literal concepts. I like to consider them more as formal experiments dealing with the properties, history, and aesthetics of photography and concept of illusion, beauty, and landscape.”

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