Unidentified child prisoner of the Khmer Rouge photographed before execution at the Tuol Sleng torture centre. Together, the chapters of Documenting the World call into question the canonical qualities of the authored, the singular, and the valuable image, and transgress the divides separating the still photograph and the moving image, as well as the analogue and the digital. Re: Laura Kipnis, Bound and Gagged: this is collapsing many genres, texts, and desires into the need to read out one category or sensation and either permit or forbid it ethically. Yet it is just this project that photography critics reject. Yet it is just this project that photography critics reject.
With The Cruel Radiance, Susie Linfield attacks those ideas head-on, arguing passionately that viewing such photographs—and learning to see the people in them—is an ethically and politically necessary act that connects us to our modern history of violence and probes our capacity for cruelty. But whereas Sontag had written that advanced industrial capitalism requires a ceaseless production of images, the critics who followed her were far more reductive. The power of the printed word is cumulative, and Linfield needed to explore more judiciously the synergy of print and image. The author likewise offers an unjaundiced critique of the photojournalists whose exploits propel them to demi-god status among editors, the n Because I was a photographer and most of my work was documentary-based -- homeless women; Puerto Rican migrant workers; and eight years in Guatemala -- I wanted to love this book and to a degree I did. They also seem to be divorced from religious, political or historic redemption and make us wonder what happens to documentary photography when it no longer has a politics to support. Even worse are the ways that these ideas have seeped into the general public, encouraging a careless contempt toward documentary photographs.
And like James Nachtwey, she accepts that there is no logic that can explain, no redemption that awaits so much suffering—but still, she bears unflinching witness. She sees behind the pictures she looks at, to their motives, fears, ambitions, and lies. The depiction of powerless, vulnerable people is a fraught enterprise that can easily veer into condescension. She sees behind the pictures she looks at, to their motives, fears, ambitions, and lies. She serves on the editorial boards of Dissent and Photography and Culture, and is a member of the New York Institute of the Humanities. Witness the humanist Capa, whose narrative-rich photos feature hardships, certainly, but side by side with nobility, endurance, and dignity. What does that say about us—or photography? Pauline Kael was an invigorating exception: she could write about movies with girlish enthusiasm without losing her edge or seeming too girlish.
She was born and raised in New York City. There, critics view emotional responses—if they have any—not as something to be experienced and understood but, rather, as an enemy to be vigilantly guarded against. One could react in various ways to their difficult, unsettling photographs, but it is doubtful that their images relieved any itches or provoked a proliferation of smacked lips. In contrast, a deep sense of fatigue permeated postmodern photography and the criticism that praised it. In 2013, Professor Linfield was the Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.
Linfield writes about regimes around the world that have used photography so document their victims, some of them children, before torturing or executing them. These critics sought, and achieved, a fertile dialectic between ideas and emotions: they were able to think and feel at the same time, or at least within the same essay. The Cruel Radiance seeks to claim for photography criticism a freedom of response. They insisted that even a scintilla of autonomy, for either photographer or viewer, was impossible; insisted, that is, that the photographer could never offer, and the viewer could never find, a moment of surprise, originality, or insight when looking at a photograph. . Book reads well because of its varied nature. It is no accident that many of the postmodern critics were women: the fear of sentimentality is particularly potent for female intellectuals, especially those who address a primarily leftwing audience and who write about popular rather than high culture.
The documentary impulse that emerged in the late nineteenth century combined the power of science and industry with a particularly utopian and often imperialistic belief in the capacity of photography and film to capture the world visually, order it, and render it useful for future generations. Are these considerations offensive: Do we have a right to make sophistries out of real suffering? Their starting point was, always, their subjective, immediate experience, which meant that they had to be honest with themselves. With The Cruel Radiance, Susie Linfield attacks those ideas head-on, arguing passionately that viewing such photographs—and learning to see the people in them—is an ethically and politically necessary act that connects us to our modern history of violence and probes our capacity for cruelty. And she has the moral strength to look at these images of mutilation, death, and destruction, explain their value, and demand that we look at them, too. Along with this anxiety—this fear of frivolity—comes the mistaken idea that chronic negativity equals fearless intelligence. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. No don't get me wrong I didn't hate the book.
Copyright notice: Excerpted from pages 1—15 of The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence by Susie Linfield, published by the University of Chicago Press. For Linfield, criticism is a high calling. I had no idea that documentary photography was in need of a knight in shining armour. Since such images are cesspools of manipulation and exploitation: why look? Esther is homeless and works a prostitute together with four fourteen-year-old friends The photos taken of child soldiers, child prostitutes, of maimed civilians in Africa explore what happens when violence is drifting away from ideology, ideas and a vision of political change. Synopsis Liam Kennedy here takes as his focus the ways in which selected photographers have sought to frame the activities and effects of American foreign policy, often with a critical perspective, and how their work engages the dynamics of power and knowledge that attend the American worldview. Mola and Yoka, victims of atrocities committed in the Belgian Congo circa 1905.
It is what defines our humanity. Kael, too, set a certain tone, both for her readers and other critics. I found it interesting and will probably reread it because I feel it had alot of inf Three art history classes in one semester wasn't smart. It will surely become part of the history of its field. Examining images from the Spanish Civil War to Rwanda, she accepts no easy, sweeping answers. For the postmoderns, photographs were not just an integral part of capitalism but its obedient slave. A good book about photography and especially documentary photography.
Linfield interrogates the photos and photographers from the Warsaw Ghetto, China's Cultural Revolution, the wars of Sierra Leone, the Abu Ghraib photographs, Capa's Spanish Civil War images, James Nachtwey's controversial photos, and Gilles Peress's work. Having travelled and worked all over the world, my photography is informed by my view that we are more the same than we are different - yet differences reveal stories. This book was for my History of American Photography class which was interesting and enjoyable. Rather, with vivid common sense and with painstaking, often abashed humanity, she guides us through the moral minefield where horror meets art, and helps us to see. Contemporary photo criticism has inherited from the likes of and a distrust and disdain towards documentary photography.