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The Matrix The Matrix
La Brea thus signifies a radical reorientation for both the photographerand the viewer. Almost 35 years after its creation, this remains the true fascination of this photograph. A younger generation of photo-graphers has long understood that the various coordinates of the medium are no longer being played off against one another at the level of reception. The documentary approach is no longer opposed to the conceptual, abstract is no longer opposed to figurative, style is no longer opposed to content, color is no longer opposed to black and white, and so on.

What is now crucial is to build a matrix of one‘s own in which the various photographic categories of content, form and medium enter into a fragile balance but nevertheless remain clearly recognizable.

In an almost ideal fashion, La Brea reflects this much more complex understanding of reception in the form of a matrix in the picture structure: the balanced network of horizontals and verticals, for example, the balancedpatchwork of commercial signs, the play of primary and secondarycolors, the relationship between space and surface, movement and rest, presence and absence, etc. For Stephen Shore, the task of both the photographer and the viewer is to find a solution. In this process, however, the photograph always brings us back to the starting point, the thing itself. In this connection, it is interesting to note that the original meaning of matrixis womb. As a rectangular structure, the matrix of the pictorial space points towards markedly rational strategies that will later be found in art photography in Germany.