It is held by some that photography grounds the anti-aesthetic argument. This argument in postmodernism was directed at the idea of medium specificity as a market of artistic value held was a central assumption of American modernist aesthetics (eg., Clement Greenberg). The unique specificity of each artistic medium was used to justify the supposed evolution of modern art from figuration to abstraction; an art that was anithetical to the kisch of of commercial culture.
The anti-aesthetic position, aimed to displace a formalist modernism that reduced aesthetics to questions of the autonomy of art, beauty, essentialism, artistic genius and visual pleasure. As defended by Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried this form of modernism held that each art aimed to project and investigate the literal properties of its own support.
In her essay, A Note on Photography and the Simulacral, Rosalind Krauss held that all art must accept its transformation by photography, which is to say that art foregoes its traditional aesthetic critieria.
One assumption of the anti aesthetic position is that photography is a simple representation of reality. However, photography is a multiplicity that has always been contingent on strategies, materialism, readings, uses and assemblages of multiple and contradictory discourses and powers.