Since the 1960s Dan Graham's high volume of work, be it as creator, critic, theoretician or professor, has become one of the fundamental pillars of understanding and re-evaluating the historical, political and social functions of Art. In 1985 at a collective exhibition at New York's 49th Parallel, post-conceptualist artists Graham and three young men from Vancouver (Jeff Wall, Ken Lum and Ian Wallace) became known as the Vancouver School.

Jeff Wall is one of the main voices of his native Vancouver's photo-conceptualism. By incorporating a theatrical element in his large-scale photographs, which were not without political meaning, Wall revolutionized the concept of narrative in Contemporary Art of the time. His work is oriented towards the representation of all aspects - both positive and negative - of daily life in the big city.


Through his contact with psychoanalytic, sociological and aesthetic theories, Dan Graham pays attention to society and, specifically, the urban context in which industrialization and the new modes of communication have swallowed up Man. His work analyzes the historical, social and ideological functions of contemporary cultural systems, focusing on architecture, rock music and television.

This book reflects on how photography has tried to respond to the general crisis of representation and broadened its conceptual and technical boundaries.

In 2007, Blake Stimson was invited to give a lecture at MACBA in the context of the seminar The Metropolis in the Photographic Era. This lecture was entitled 'Photography of the Social Forms.' An earlier version of this text was published as “The Artiste” in Oxford Art Journal, vol. 30, num. 1 (March 2007), pp. 101-115.

"Artists feel that anyone who doesn’t enjoy their work does not really experience it. So we are insulated, we have this happy space of ours. But we cannot shape very much and so we do not have much direct effect on the affairs of the world. From within our space, our métier, we can contemplate and reflect on the difficulty, the burden, the obligation accepted by those who take on practical tasks."
Jeff Wall, 2004

 Wall approaches his photographs as though they were scenes from a film. He is interested in urban violence, racism, poverty and class and gender conflicts. The narrative drama of his photographs seems to echo the conventions of film, but they also draw on the language of painting.