Tag Archives: Criticism

Wallis on Race and Typological Photography

“By supplying an overabundance of information, photography confuses and problematizes its message; it creates what author Roland Barthes calls a “reality effect,” a semblance of realism bound to detail. In nineteenth-century parlance, two technical words gained a certain currency to describe how “reality”was construed: the word daguerreotype was distinguished from the word stereotype. Stereotypes were originally molds for creating multiple copies of printing type; the word, therefore, came to connote generalized replication. The daguerreotype, on the… Continue reading

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Foster on the Primitive

“Historically, the primitive is articulated by the west in deprivative or supplemental terms: as a spectacle of savagery or as a state of grace, as a socius without writing or the Word, history or cultural complexity or as a site… Continue reading

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Rice on Secular (Consumerist) Culture

“Unlike Vodou worshippers in Haiti, we in contemporary America acknowledge no deities; we deny a pantheon of supernatural beings who determine our destinies, who have the power to “possess” our bodies or intervene in our lives. In our denial, we… Continue reading

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Steinberg against Formalism

“Given the complexity and infinite resonance of works of art, the stripping down of artistic value to the single determinant of formal organization was once—in the nineteenth century—a remarkable cultural achievement. The attempt was to discipline art criticism in the… Continue reading

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Crow on Modernism & Mass Culture

“The sign of manufactured culture is empty diversity, an eclecticism resulting from market expediency, targeting consumers, and hedging bets. Modernist practice sustains its claim to autonomy by standing in implicit opposition to the diversity of material glut, the evident shape… Continue reading

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Stallabrass on the complicity of Art and the Market

“Art overruns the borders of local particularity, aiding the transformation and mixing of the world’s cultures and economies. The progressive and regressive aspects of this process are inextricably related. Local resistances are defeated and, in many places, conditions worsen as… Continue reading

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Mitchell on The Image & Women.

“What is the moral for pictures? If one could interview all the pictures one encounters in a year, what answers would they give? Surely, many of the pictures would give Chaucer’s “wrong” answers: that is, pictures would want to be… Continue reading

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Chaban on the Documentary Image.

“The screen as a representational space offers a constant interplay between different modes of appearance which present themselves conventionally as ontological antinomies: reality and illusion, realism and fantasy, story and non- story, staged and unstaged, etc. It was probably inevitable… Continue reading

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Adams on Photographing Evil

“Few photographers themselves have, however, supported the use of the adjective “concerned” as a way of distinguishing one artist from another; they know firsthand that all art is the product of concern. They believe as a consequence that it has… Continue reading

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Stahel on Photographic Literacy

An engaging and timely lecture by Urs Stahel, former Chief Curator of the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, from the Delhi Photo Festival in September 2013. Fotomuseum Winterthur launched their remarkable curatorial programme in 1993 with an exhibition of the landmark body of work New Europe by Paul Graham.… Continue reading

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