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“Laughing Stock:” Stock Photography and Satire, from Digital Meme Culture to Post-Internet Art

“Laughing Stock:” Stock Photography and Satire, from Digital Meme Culture to Post-Internet Art

Nathalie Agostini
This study interrogates the contrast between the relatively unexplored territory of stock photography as an academic focus, and its widespread exploitation in visual culture. Ubiquitous online in its various commercial and editorial formats as well as on social media, stock photography is worthy of attention because of the many characters it takes on. Taking satire as a starting point, this study examines the limits of stock photography, or the “wallpaper of consumer culture,” captured by the renderings of stock images in meme culture, while surveying alternate possibilities of their handling in art and contemporary photography practices.

Photo credit:
Timur Si-Qin. Selection Display: Tomato Quadra, 2013 from the solo exhibition “Basin of Attraction,” courtesy of the artist. Photography: Simon Vogel
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