Category Archives: Thought

Lewis on Modernity and Antiquity

“The aesthetic ideas and practices that came to be known as modernism initially had some stake, investment and predicative power in how modernity was going to shape up. Modernism tried to make sense of the modern revolution in the world;… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Politics, Theory, Thought Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Campany on “Dust Breeding”

“Can one photograph made in 1920 really be the key, the codex to all this? Was the last century really foreseen in an unassuming exposure of dust in a New York studio? Across its lifetime, Dust Breeding has been claimed for Dada,… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Thought Tags , , , , , , , ,

Benjamin on Allegory

“Once the object has beneath the brooding look of Melancholy become allegorical, once life has flowed out of it, the object itself remains behind, dead, yet preserved for all eternity; it lies before the allegorist, given over to him utterly,… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Film, Photography, Poetry, Theory, Thought Tags , , , , , , , , , ,

Campany on the ‘Late’ Photograph

“Over its one hundred and seventy year history, there was a finite period in which photography carried the weight of events and defined what an event was. In its first several decades the medium was slow and cumbersome both in… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Thought, Video Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hansen on Benjamin and Dauthendey’s self-portrait

“Benjamin’s often-cited passage concerning the double portrait of the photographer Dauthendey and his fiancée — who was to slash her veins after the birth of their sixth child — evokes a complex temporality in which the past moment encrypted in… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Theory, Thought Tags , , , , , , , , , ,

Azoulay on Benjamin’s reading of Dauthendey

“In his essay “A Short History of Photography,” Walter Benjamin analyzes a photograph of Karl Dauthendey and his wife. Dauthendey was one of the pioneers of daguerreotype photography in Germany. On viewing the photograph, Benjamin writes, the viewer feels an… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Theory, Thought Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hansen on Benjamin & Baudelaire

“If Benjamin sees the significance of Baudelaire in his having registered the shattering of aura and having given it the weight of an irreversible historic experience (Erfahrung), he finds in Proust a contemporary whose writing seeks to artificially reproduce, as it were, in the “deadly game”… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Theory, Thought Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Smithson on The New Monuments

“Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future. Instead of being made of natural materials, such as marble, granite, or other kinds of rock, the… Continue reading

Discussion 2 Comments Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Politics, Theory, Thought Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Phillips on the Realities of Landscape Photography

“The intellectual control of the land, our mastery of it, appears to be coming apart at the seams. The idealization of individualism and of corporate enterprise, so vividly optimistic in nineteenth century photographs and so important to the word of… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Politics, Thought Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Arnold on Space after Photography and the Railroads

“The expansion of the railroads across the American West during the 1860s and the related influx of would-be settlers coincided with the rise of photography as a mass medium. The development of the wet plate collodion process and the albumen… Continue reading

Discussion Leave a comment Category Art, Criticism, Photography, Thought