Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

The difficulties of nonsense

Mar 10, 2018 - Vytautas Kumza

When, for the first time I’ve was introduced with Robert Cumming work, I flipped it trough, I thought “nothing special”. Second time, I’ve checked his book “The difficulties of nonsense”  and got blown away by his sculptural approach towards photography.


Perception, language, and the nuances of photographic vision are common themes in the work of Robert Cumming (American, b. 1943). His method of portraying the physically impossible so that it appears visually accurate has its roots in his early career as a painter, sculptor, performance artist, and mail artist.

In his photographic work—the majority of which he made in Southern California during the 1970s—Cumming embraced the illusion and reality of the medium: that photographs can spin artifice regardless of how true they appear. By intentionally including studio lighting, wires, and messy elements of construction, or “a means by which one can unravel the fabrication,” he creates visual narratives that unfold over time.