A Portrait of a Photograph that doesn’t look like a Picture: Photography and Identity as Image and Material in the Work of Edward Krasiński.

Gil Lavi

Edward Krasiński’s gesture of assimilating people, objects and walls using blue masking tape remained esoteric throughout the past decades. The practice was often described by methods that offered symbolic political readings. This article aims to understand Krasinski’s tape as a material, as well as its formal effect as a separator and assimilator. The work is investigated in relationship to Krasiński’’s interests in photography and with a perspective of the work’s relevance to the crisis of the photograph as an object today. The photograph shares with the masking tape the mechanism of assimilation and separation as well as mechanical repetition. An effort is made to understand the blue tape as a portrait of the photograph written in by subtraction. This paper examines Krasiński’s blue tape as a liminal organ, a recording device and a warning sign. The gesture of applying the tape over people is finally investigated in relationship to Ohad Naharin’s gesture of taping in Last Show.

KEYWORDS: Edward Krasiński, Ohad Naharin, Blue Stripe, Blue Tape, Photography

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