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Zsolt Bátori: Conceptual Photography

Annual Conference of the European Society for Aesthetics, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, May 29-31, 2014. 

In my talk I consider the status of conceptual photography in terms of its relation to traditional fine art photography. I examine the differences between the two categories on the basis of how we recognize, interpret, and appreciate these works. I argue that conceptual photographs (along with other works of conceptual art) are not unique and singular works of art, but token executions (temporal or permanent performances) of one original, unique and singular work of conceptual art. I conclude that these works cannot be considered to belong to the category (genre or subgenre) of fine art photography. On the basis of my considerations, I suggest that it is a confusing gallery practice to exhibit conceptual photographs along with traditional fine art photographs, because the works that belong to these distinct categories call for radically different interpretative and appreciative practices.


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