Photography is dead. That news may come as a surprise, since obituaries about art tend to be written about painting. Invented in the 1830s, photo-graphy is still in its infancy as an art form compared to the centuries-old medium of painting. Despite inventions like portable paint tubes and fast-drying acrylic, painting has not undergone the transformations that digitalization is bringing to the medium of photography. Of course, I’m speaking about the death of film photography. Happy to save on the cost of film and the time taken to develop it, consumers embraced digitalization with such gusto that a whole industry is dying. In 2005, the film photography giant AgfaPhoto filed for bankruptcy. In 2009, Polaroid ceased the production of instant Polaroid film, and Kodak discontinued Kodachrome film. Digital photographs are not only cheaper and faster to produce; they can be stored endlessly and shared instantly with countless friends. Polaroids, though ‘instant’, could not be emailed and tweeted. For artists, such mass-market developments are turning film photography into a specialist field, like lithography.
more from Jennifer Allen at Frieze here.