Skip to content

Collection

An image of Systematically Altered Photographs by Ian Burn An image of Systematically Altered Photographs by Ian Burn An image of Systematically Altered Photographs by Ian Burn An image of Systematically Altered Photographs by Ian Burn

Ian Burn

(Australia, United States of America 29 Dec 1939 – 29 Sep 1993)

Title
Systematically Altered Photographs
Year
1968
Media category
Print
Materials used
3 black and white photographs (reproduction from 'Australian Panorama', Australian News and Information Bureau, c.1967) and photocopy on paper, 1 black and white photograph
Edition
21/25
Dimensions

a - A; 32.1 x 27.9 cm; image

a - A; 55.9 x 61.4 cm; sheet

b - B; 22.7 x 28 cm; image

b - B; 55.9 x 61.4 cm; sheet

c - C; 38.1 x 27.7 cm; image

c - C; 55.9 x 61.4 cm; sheet

d - text; 55.9 x 61.4 cm; sheet

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. sheet each photograph, black ink "Ian Burn 1968".
Credit
Rudy Komon Memorial Fund 2005
Accession number
130.2005.a-d
Copyright
© Estate of Ian Burn
Location
Not on display
Further information

'Systematically Altered Photographs' focuses on systems of knowledge in society and how images convey meaning. By methodically disintegrating pre-existing generic images of Australia using a photocopying process, Burn reevaluates the notion of originality and authenticity. This series of photographs eloquently realise the artist's exploration into art-making, language and representation.

Burn spoke about this group of works in 1988. He said "…imagery was reintroduced in ways which deliberately exposed its problematic status. In the 'Systematically Altered Photographs', the image was photocopied, then the copy copied and so on, for about a dozen times. The altered image was then juxtaposed with the original, with the readings drawing attention arbitrarily to certain features and details. The original image was cut from a magazine. There was no sense of creating the image, only of recreating it within a new system. The source was a promotional publication put out for overseas consumption by the Australian government…The clichéd character of the images was important". (Melbourne, 1988)

Bibliography (1)

Mel Ramsden and Michiel Dolk, Ian Burn: Minimal-Conceptual Work 1965-1970, Perth, 1992, 84.

Exhibition history (1)

Ian Burn: Minimal-Conceptual Work 1965-1970: