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On its invention, the photograph was viewed as a mechanical invention; its contemporary position - as a pre-eminent medium for fine art practice is, comparatively speaking, recent. From the late nineteenth century onwards,individual artists, groups, clubs and publications that were devoted specifically to the practice of photography contributed to its definition as a fine art; later its relationships to other media emerged through both Modernist and Conceptual art practices. Contemporary photographic artworks can now confidently test the roots of the medium within both fine art and popular visual culture, take a reflexive approach to inner workings of the photographic process, or extend beyond the boundary of straight photography to encompass relations with sculpture, performance, film, drawing or painting.

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