Tag Archives: Theory

Campany on Photography as a Medium

“The definition of a medium, particularly photography, is not autonomous or self-governing, but heteronomous, dependent on other media. It derives less from what it is technologically than what it is culturally. Photography is what we do with it. And what… Continue reading

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Bertens on Postmodernist Deconstruction and ‘Avant-Garde’ strategy

“The politics of this postmodern avant-garde, as theorized by Crimp, Owens, Foster, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, and others, are primarily aesthetic. Although the strategies involved, such as appropriation and hybridization, are supposed to open the eyes of the larger public to the… Continue reading

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Jameson on Haacke

“Haacke poses the political dilemma of a new cultural politics: how to struggle within the world of the simulacrum by using the arms and weapons specific to that world which are themselves precisely simulacra? This explicitly political work, which reaffirms… Continue reading

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Batchen on Daguerre’s “Still Life” (1837)

“Of the various daguerreotypes by Daguerre that do survive, one in particular is often reproduced in histories of photography as the earliest extant example, as Daguerre’s first photograph. Dated 1837, this full-plate daguerreotype is usually titled Still life or The artist’s studio… Continue reading

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Steyerl on The Image

“…it has become clear that images are not objective or subjective renditions of a preexisting condition nor merely treacherous appearances, but that they are nodes of energy and matter migrating across different supports, shaping and affecting people, landscapes, politics, and… Continue reading

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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

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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

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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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