Is the story of photography coming to a close, or is it just beginning? Considering the medium's relatively brief history, we might assume the field has been exhaustively charted, but photography's continually shifting boundaries require institutions of all kinds to respond to an evolving field.
This image concisely illustrates the way that "shooting" (people with guns) and "shooting" (pictures with cellphones) have become intertwined parts of modern warfare—especially in conflicts in the Middle East (Iran in 2009, Syria and Iraq today), where it is often impossible or dangerous for Western photojournalists to operate.
NASA's Landsat is the longestrunning program dedicated to photographing Earth from space, and has created millions of images since its inception in 1969. The first satellite, Landsat 1, was launched on July 23,1972, atop a Delta 900 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
With today's proliferation of smartphone cameras, every moment can now be captured and instantly disseminated. More than one billion photos were uploaded to Facebook last year. Our intimate lives are not only recorded, but also displayed on social networks; the ether is inundated with pictorial evidence tracking every detail of the lives of millions.
This photograph, from the series Death by Ahlam Shibli, was taken in the West Bank city of Nablus in 2012, where families go about their daily business amid representations of the absent. Martyr is the name given to any person whose death can be attributed to the Israeli occupation: Muslim or Christian, activist or bystander, child or adult, anyone who did not receive medical care due to a curfew or checkpoint.
Since there is a "good" we know is bullshit, corny as Lawrence Welk On Venus, we will not be that hominy shit. We will be, definitely, bad, bad, as a mother-fucker. My copy of Imamu Amiri Baraka's 1970 book, In Our Terribleness, is full of red brackets and underlines, drawing my attention back to passages like the one above.
This portrait was taken for photographer Melanie Dunea's 2007 book My Last Supper, which pairs portraits of chefs with the stories of their ideal "death row" final meals. I'm in my chef coat, sitting on a tablecloth, feeding the present and future world with my own body. If that doesn't take care of the perennial question—"What's it like being a female chef and balancing motherhood with a career?"—I don't know what will.
One of my favorite photos, The Band by Elliot Landy, hangs in the Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York. It's the only piece of artwork in the main dining room. I chose it because The Band embodies the sense of teamwork that needs to be present in a successful kitchen.
I was strolling through an outdoor antique market not long ago and at one of the stands I saw a shoe-box filled with postcards. I took one out of the box and to my great astonishment it was from Roses, the small coastal town where El Bulli was located.
In 2006 I took a trip down to the South Street Seaport, to the old Fulton Fish Market, and saw an exhibition by photographer Barbara Mensch. I loved the black-and-white photos of the old market, and Vinny "The Bone" really caught my eye; he looks like an old gangster!
This is one of my favorite recent acquisitions. It's by New Zealand-based photographer Patrick Reynolds and was shot at Piha Beach, a slightly wild black-sand beach on the west coast of the Auckland region. I bought it because of Patrick's exceptional ability to capture New Zealand in its many shapes and guises, from industrial landscapes to forests of tree ferns to the sandy expanse pictured here.
Vanity and Shame is a video installation by the acclaimed Swedish/Kenyan artist Catherine Anyango, who is based in London. Catherine works with drawing, film, and sculpture to reevaluate the domestic interior and show the disruption of these spaces by intangible emotional phenomena.
It is no overstatement to say that Mexico has a special relationship with photography. Many giants of the medium, including Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, famously came to Mexico to work or settle. Mexican photographers, such as Manuel and Lola Álvarez Bravo and Nacho López, create a weighty backdrop, as does the legendary story behind the "Mexican Suitcase" containing Robert Capa, Gerta Taro, and David "Chim" Seymour's lost documentation of the Spanish Civil War.
Joel Smith considers the ever-expanding domain of photography history. A recurring item in the lifestyle section: Four years ago, Author congratulated herself for giving her infant son an original yet non-peculiar name—only to learn that he now shares it with four or five friends. Each generation names its babies by looking around, identifying the overused names among young children, and fixating, futilely, on avoiding those—the clichés of a past so fresh that it is being mistaken for Now.
Katrina Sluis speaks with Christiane Paul and Julian Stallabrass about how new technologies may shape future histories of photography. The development of a photography canon has been crucial to the medium’s success in becoming both an academic subject and part of the global art market.
London's Archive of Modern Conflict is as curious as its name. Brian Dillon considers the institution's diverse, eccentric collection of photography. I didn't exactly get lost on my way to the Archive of Modern Conflict—I had no idea where I was going in the first place.
Four writers reflect on exhibitions due for reconsideration Hackney, a deprived borough of East London, has a strong political history. It was at the forefront of battles with fascists in the 1930s, and remained a stronghold for trade unionism and community activism into the '70s.
Olivier Lugon on Architecture, Measure of Man, Milan, 1951
Photography exhibitions constitute only a small part of the rich history of exhibitions using photographs. Indeed, some of the most influential twentieth-century photographic displays used photographs in support of broader cultural, commercial, or political discourses—as with Edward Steichen and Bauhaus designer Herbert Bayer’s famous Road to Victory, a pro-war visual extravaganza presented at the Museum of Modern Art in 1942.
Mary Statzer on Photography into Sculpture, New York, 1970
Peter C. Bunnell, then curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, wrote this straightforward assessment of conventional views of the medium in a brief article promoting his 1970 exhibition Photography into Sculpture.
Vanessa Rocco on the Building Workers Unions Exhibition, Berlin, 1931
It's difficult today to imagine construction workers as the subject of an exhibition by leading avant-garde artists. What artworks chart the everyday travails of roofers and housepainters, or the importance of health benefits and regular financial audits?
What does MoMA's new chief curator of photography have planned? Last January Quentin Bajac, a native Parisian, became chief curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art. Given the authority of that position, MoMA invested a great deal of intellectual currency in the appointment.
Paul Trevor began making pictures in the early 1970s. He abandoned a job as an accountant to team up with photographers Chris Steele-Perkins and Nicholas Battye to form Exit, a group dedicated to documenting the social problems of British cities in photographs and interviews.
Interest in Japanese photography, and especially Japanese photography books, grew dramatically in the early 2000s following the publication of several anthologies, most notably Andrew Roth's The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century (2001) and the first two volumes of Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s The Photobook: A History (2004, 2006).
The first word that comes to my mind when I look at Maria Sewcz’s inter esse series (1985-87) is concrete. The adjective acknowledges the photographs’ solidity, tangibility, actuality, and materiality —their attachment to a specific place and time.
Marie Cosindas made a big splash in 1966. That was the year that a solo exhibition of her color photographs opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and then traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and to the Art Institute of Chicago the following year.
In 1947, while resident in New York, the New Zealand-born filmmaker and sculptor Len Lye made about forty-eight cameraless photographic portraits of friends and acquaintances. After getting visitors to lie on a sheet of unexposed photographic paper in a dark room, Lye would switch on the light and make an exposure.
My art history professor was not pleased. "What a waste of your education!" he said, when I told him I planned to write about photography. In France in 1975, photography was not considered a medium of any real importance. I was one of ten photographers and writers who formed a collective to challenge this notion.
"Feminine" and "masculine" body forms in today’s patriarchy Hands in advertising
Leg and feet positions
People sitting and lying on the ground, Arm and leg positions
Leg and feet positions
Egyptian sculptures, possessive gestures and holds. Couples, mostly in standing positions
German artist Marianne Wex started out as a painter before producing her photographic project Let's Take Back Our Space, one of the great unsung works of 1970s feminist history and cultural analysis. Born in Hamburg in 1937, Wex studied at the city's University of Fine Arts, where she later taught for seventeen years.
The Mozambican Ricardo Rangel (19242009) began his photographic life in the 1940s as a darkroom assistant in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo). He joined the newspaper Notícias da Tarde in 1952, at a time when journalists were expected to toe the official line of the Portuguese colonial regime and photographers were regarded as mere illustrators of news.
That Horacio Coppola's photographs might reasonably be included in this context—Photography As You Don't Know It—neatly illustrates the dearth of attention given to artists working outside the cities typically associated with photographic modernism: Paris, London, and New York.
It might sound inaccurate to say that Rosângela Rennó's work is overlooked, as she is certainly celebrated in Brazil. But a quick look at the English and French photography compendiums on my shelves reveals no trace of her name, a fate she shares with many important photographers and artists from Latin America.
In April 1938, Arnold Gingrich, the editor of Esquire, launched a news magazine he hoped would compete with Henry Luce's bold, picture-oriented Life. Called Ken, as in the expression "beyond my ken," the biweekly relied on powerful photography in its bid to become, as contributing editor George Seldes described it, "the first mass-circulation, public-opinion-forming magazine in history on the liberal side."