Ian Burn finishes his essay 'Conceptual Art as Art' in his book Dialogue: Writing in Art History thus:
In conclusion, one could separate the analytic or strict Conceptual Art from the work which is a conceptual appearance by stating that the intention of the former is to devise a functional change in art, whereas the latter is concerned with changes in the appearance of the art.
Post conceptual photography in Australia in the 1980s was deemed to be postmodern in both theory and practice. This was the judgement of Isobel Crombie and Sandra Byron's, Twenty Contemporary Australian Photographers: From the Hallmark Cards Australian Photographic Collection at the National Gallery of Victoria (1990). Helen Ennis in her exhibition catalogue Australian Photography: The 1980s concured. What was unclear from thes exhibitions, and the Blair French and Daniel Palmer text, Twelve Australian Photo Artists, was the link between the allegorical impluse and the qualities of nonidentity, rupture, disjunction, distance, and fragmentation.
It questioned the modernist traditions and conventions that had previously come to define photography---small-scale finely worked black and white photographs. This gave way to large, colour, stage-managed studio images that were exhibited in the art gallery system. This shift was often framed in terms of the traditional art historical explicatory device of stylistic exhaustion and Oedipal reaction.
This Australian postmodernism in photographic culture was part of a broader global movement of what Douglas Crimp termed oppositional postmodernism that was interested in representation and photography's function in an image culture; photography's role in the construction of (female) subjectivity; and the questioning of the assumptions underpinning photography's indexical relation to the world.
It was an oppositional postmodernism in that it was a critique of the foundations of modernist asethetics such as form, originality, authenticity, and individual creativity. It also made an analysis of the art galleries/museum as an "institution of confinement"; and a critique of high modernism's antipathy to, and eradication of, metaphor that allowed them to assert medium against meaning, likeness or literary values.
In the photography after conceptual art in Australia there was some questioning of the conservative landscape tradition in Australian painting, and its construction of an essential Australian aesthetic, national narratives and settler Australia's relation to the land. This Anglocentric version of the social imaginary of Australia as a nation of well-intentioned, hardworking British settlers downplayed both the colonial forms of violence and subjugation of aboriginal Australians and the destruction of the environment.
This questioning of this cultural expression of national identity and its mythology raised the idea of the landscape both as a site of historical conflict and change, and the ways that we represent our relationships to the environment.
By and large however, though there has been a rich history of photographing the landscape, art photography with the land, landscape, nature as its subject has declined in Australia and lost its currency. It has become sidelined as sophisticated chocolate box photography. Two exceptions that come to mind are Debra Phillips 2001 landscapes of Lake George in New South Wale (The world as a puzzle 1 and 11) and David Stephenson's images of environmental destruction in Tasmania.