nu-real: a timeline of fantastic photomontage and its possible influences

A time line of surreal and layered imagery from 1857 to 2007 – a pretty amazing compilation of the evolution of complex imagery.

nu-real seeks to be preliminary critical survey that traces a possible alternate history of photomontage and fantastic photography, and the possible influences upon it. It is not about the classic propagandist photomontage that juxtaposed elements in the manner of modernist graphic design. It only briefly touches on the surrealist photographers of the same period.

nu-real is about a constructed tableaux photography that seeks a relatively coherent and blended co-presence of elements, usually presenting these as an enigma in a stage-like space. This 150-year old approach to visualising the fantastic is now flourishing in contemporary art photography, but it still has no name; and so I have provisionally termed it the “nu-real”.

created by D. Haden – School of Theoretical and Historical Studies BIAD Birmingham City University