Category Archives: Criticism

Mulvey on the Figure of the Woman

“Woman then stands in patriarchal culture as signifier for the male other, bound by a symbolic over in which man can live out his phantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of woman still… Continue reading

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Kozloff on the Camera and culture

“Without asking so much as the viewer’s leave, photographers have deprogrammed the genres and tossed media in a juggle of unexpected meanings. They remind us, if only by contrast, of how often our understanding of photographs originates on the basis… Continue reading

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Cadava on the Photograph, Ruin & Time

“There can be no image that is not about destruction and survival, and this is especially the case in the image of ruin. We might even say that the image of ruin tells us what is true of every image:… Continue reading

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Duchamp on Photography

“photography is not limited to the role of copyist. It is a marvellous explorer of those aspects that our retina never records, and that, every day, inflict such cruel contradictions on the adorers of familiar visions that are so few,… Continue reading

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Lauwaert on Braeckman

“Braeckman’s black lies deep in the paper. It does not signify black: it is black. Black matter. Here, black is not a word, but substance, unformed, unstructured, escaping language, escaping meaning. This is no significant, figurative black (indicating that “it… Continue reading

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Higgie on the Faceless Woman

“She turns her back on you; this, it would seem, is her appeal. She’s been painted like this for centuries, and, more recently, photographed. Often she is naked, in a bathroom or bedroom, solitary, sleeping or day-dreaming, or at a… Continue reading

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Burton on Sherman

“In her earliest series, including “Untitled Film Still,” Sherman made repeated reference to abstract codes of representation, underscoring the ways in which identity is produced and conveyed within culture. Audiences would, for example, seem to “know” every scene and every… Continue reading

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Jacoby on Narcissism

“What lurks behind the critique of narcissism is the authority of the “classic” bourgeois family; this family and the authoritarian family diverge in their social composition. It does not seem fortuitous that Marx’s example is drawn from the “lower mercantile… Continue reading

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One off: Alec Soth.

“NIAGARA is more a circular journey than a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. Its voice is first person, present. Its story is told in the words of the photographer’s subjects. Its conclusion is like its start: a closed… Continue reading

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Stallabrass on Dijkstra

“This constitutes the terrible plausibility of these images, and part of the basis for their success: they do describe and also enact a world in which people are socially atomized, politically weak, and are governed by their place in the… Continue reading

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