The re-release of Allan Sekula’s seminal book critiquing the bond between capitalism and representations of material culture. Photography has. Ohio Arts Council. ERRATA Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data Page For Read Sekula, Allan Photography against the grain x, line 29 an overt a covert. Photography against the grain: essays and photo works, Front Cover. Allan Sekula. Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design,

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Photography Against the Grain: Essays and Photo Works, 1973-1983

Thirteen years ago, when I first began making photographs with phottography seriousness, the medium’s paramount attraction was, for me, its unavoidable social referentiality, its way of describing — albeit in enigmatic, misleading, reductive and often superficial terms — a seku,a of social institutions, gestures, manners, relation- ships.

Voloshinov, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, trans. Photographers unknown, Photo- graphic Section, A. The “element of nature” is eradicated by denying the representational status of the photograph. Although rather deadpan, this is hardly an innocent reading of the two photographs.

To eliminate this problem, vertical photographs were taken during 35 Steichen at War Steichen at War hours of oblique sunlight, in order that the location of shadows might distinguish convexity from concavity. Undeterred, I decide that quality in photography is a question of design, that the photograph is a figurative arrangement of tones in a two-dimensional, bounded field. For Galella, photojournalism is war, rooted allaan the social inequality of photographer and subject.

For most, photojournalism is simply synonymous with mainstream media. This realization that documentary form cannot be assumed but must emerge from the midst of each and every work was, of course, the ticket by which abainst re-entered contemporary art as a vital force art being an arena in which form is an always active concern, not a default.


Erik Kessels’ Eye It is sekuls uninvested analogue that Roland Barthes refers to as the denotative function of the photograph. He carries a bundle, his body is bounded by the left edge of the photo.

One of these ths pro- vided a backing for the otherwise translucent image.

And, on a more theoretical level, while I was clearly indebted to structural- ism, and particularly to Roland Barthes’s early essays on photo- graphy, the isolation of an abstract language system from social language, from language use, seemed to have produced a related kind of closure, more “scientific” perhaps than that effected by modernist criticism, but closure nonetheless.

Ladislav Matejka and I. The unique art object stands in the center of a discourse within which ideology is ob- scured; the photograph, on the other hand, is characterized by a reproducibility, an “exhibition value,” that widens the field of po- tential readers, that permits a penetration into the “unprivileged” spaces of the everyday world.

But it is impossi- ble to tell whether this is droll self-mockery or naive self- promotion, although it is probably the latter.

See also Studs Terkel, Division Street: That is, the reader is privileged to reinvent, on the basis of this photograph, the saga of the alienated creative genius.

The scale of continuous gray from black to white, within a photographic print, is similar to the unbroken scales of pitch and loudness in music. Daguerreian Journal, January 1 5, 1quoted in Rudi- sill, p.

Although my work is more “reflexive” than traditional social documentary, it seeks to avoid what Perry Anderson has termed “the megalomania of the signifier.

Working within his own milieu, Weegee was able to produce interesting and very quirky images of lower-class urban life. Allan Sekula takes photography to task, against the grain. This is the final outcome of the appropriation of the photographic image for liberal political ends; the oppressed are granted a bogus Subjecthood when such status can be secured only from within, on their own terms. Thus I was more quickly impressed than might otherwise have been the case by the extreme degree to which photographic meaning was dependent on context.


Karl added it Feb 07, As Science of Expression and General Linguistic, trans.

See also Lisa M. Large numbers of prints from a single negative had to be made for distri- bution throughout the hierarchy of command. All of these figures say: Leo Tolstoy, What is Art? This is the enemy: No critical model can ignore the fact that interests contend in the real world.

However, this is merely the latest stage in the photographt crisis photogrxphy subjectivity at the heart of bourgeois culture. I went as far forward on deck as I could. Signor Croce is speaking of the shortcomings of photo- graphers and not of photography. Martha Rosler wrote a allah piece about him. However, it should be added now that the official need for “Hine” has diminished drastically with the collapse of a liberal ideological consensus in the United States since the end of the s, and thus the socal documentary tradition Hine had a xii Introduction 3.

Photography against the grain: essays and photo works, – Allan Sekula – Google Books

No method of re- production but direct printing from the original negative would hold the detail necessary for reconnaissance purposes. Croce, Photogrqphy Fry, and Clive Bell form a kind of loose esthetic syndicate around early 20th-century art. Pa- trick Romanell, New York,p.