Tag Archives: Art

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Adams on Space and Freedom

“Although presumably the photographers who took the early landscapes did not intend such an analysis of our country, since they witnessed no more than the opening events, their pictures do lead us now to reflect on a tragic progression. They… Continue reading

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Kracauer on Photography and History

“…the photographic media help us to overcome our abstract­ness by familiarizing us, for the first time as it were, with “this Earth which is our habitat” (Gabriel Marcel); they help us to think through things, not above them. Otherwise expressed, the photographic media make it much easier for us to incorporate the transient… Continue reading

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Arnold on Ruwedel

“The difficulty in reconciling caption and photograph, together with the alien appearance of the landscape, turns speculation toward the extent to which the act of naming signalled the arrival of the frontier and the process of displacement it initiated, in… Continue reading

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Donato on The Museum

“The set of objects the Museum displays is sustained only by the fiction that they somehow constitute a coherent representational universe. The fiction is that a repeated metonymic displacement of fragment for totality, object to label, series of objects to… Continue reading

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Betsky on the Jeffersonian Grid

“The Jeffersonian grid converted the continent into territory, in which the scale of the whole country specified itself down to states, communities, neighborhoods, farms, building sites, and finally into the rooms within each balloon frame structure. American became the Descartian… Continue reading

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