It is always good news when we can look to contemporary photography for pictures that enrich our experience. Too often we find ourselves drowning in what seems to be an endless stream of images—many of them stale repetitions of photographs we have already seen.
Pseudohistory/Pseudophotography: A Review of Walker Evans at Work and Bearing Witness
When the poet Walt Whitman died in Camden, New Jersey, there were many close to him who took an intense interest in everything about him, for among the faithful he was an overwhelming figure. An autopsy was ordered and Whitman's brain was removed to be examined and preserved.
Commenting on the Salon of 1859, Charles Baudelaire remarked, "Photography, like all other purely material developments of progress, [has] contributed much to the impoverishment of the French artistic genius." In Baudelaire's view, the fine arts of painting and poetry are synthetic.
I have been photographing people for twenty years. At times the pictures were portraits, at times street pictures. Always I took many pictures of someone, but would show only one because I "knew" I could take only a single definitive photograph of a person.
Anyone who is interested in how things look notices how something ordinary is beautifully transformed by light. Light draws attention to what it describes. I am interested in how a beautiful photograph defies interpretation: how it may be ripe in implication and surface, yet free of conventional meaning.
The Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham is a special prison. It is a women's prison, the first in the country. Founded in 1879, it served to incarcerate unmarried women for "begetting" (Hester Prynne's crime in The Scarlet Letter).
Ted Hartwell is curator of photography at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Frank Gohlke is a photographer who lives in Minneapolis. FG As the director of a very important photography collection— the person who takes care of it, adds to it, the person who really created it—how do you see your responsibilities? What kind of decisions do you have to make in running the day-to-day operations of the collection and its more ephemeral counterpart, the exhibition program?
These photographs were made during the summer of 1980 in a small residential community outside Shelton, Connecticut. The name of the community is The Maples, and it covers a stretch of land about one mile long on the banks of the Housatonic River.
I have always worked in or near the classical tradition of documentarians, using the camera in more or less straightforward ways. My background is small town, midwestern and Calvinist enough that I tend to stifle my impulses. Things have their limits.
The Widelux is a true 35-mm. hand-held panoramic camera because the film is exposed on a curved plane as the lens spans 140 degrees. My Widelux photographs are urban panoramas. Urban photography entails the ability to participate in the natural rhythms of city life, a domain that is simultaneously public and private.
The radiant promise of the latest photography boom has shriveled and all but disappeared. Once again the market for art photography has proven to be unstable and short-lived, as it has in the past. The European Pictorialists, for example, had begun to chip out a niche for themselves in the nineteenth-century salons, when incipient public support and sales evaporated.
Susan Barron Susan Barron was trained as a musician and holds an advanced degree in clinical diagnostic chemistry. She was introduced to photography by Art Sinsabaugh in 1969, and her photographs and collages are included in major collections.