Archive for the ‘Criticism of Photography’ Category

McCauley, Anne. ‘Overexposure: Thoughts on the Triumph of Photography’, The Meaning of Photography ed. by Robin Kelsey and Blake Stimson (Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, 2005) 159-162 p.159 [discusses photography’s acceptance into art institutions] p.160 Museums became infotainment for people who wanted to walk rather than sit in front of screens when escaping from their […]



Elkins, James. ‘Writing’ What Photography Is (Oxon: Routledge, 2011) 1-14  p.5 No, what bothers me, at least at first, is that the uncomfortable intimacy of the voice, and its discomfiting affections, are supported by a certainty I cannot understand: a certainty, almost a conviction, that the author’s frame of mind is not an impediment to […]

The brilliant James Elkins posts his lecture slides on his website. Here’s what looks like his notes prior to What Photography Is, a book I’m waiting anxiously to come into my University library. There’s lots more writing and notes and ideas to be had on his website:

Flusser, Vilém. “The Distribution of Photographs” pp.49-56 in Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books, 2005) p.49 Nature as a whole is a system in which information disintegrates progressively according to the second law of thermodynamics. Human beings struggle against this natural entropy not only by receiving information but also storing and passing it on – […]



Price, Mary. ‘Metaphor’ The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 134-149 pp.134-135 Before photography, according to Ivins [William M, Ivins, Jr.], the syntactical analysis of a picture preceded the handmade reproduction, which became a symbolic representation of its original. references for reproduction are the woodcut, etching, or lithograph that reproduce a […]

The photograph


Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Photograph’ Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books, 2000) 41-48 p.41-42 There cannot be black-and-white states of things in the world because black-and-white cases are borderline, ‘ideal cases’: black is the total absence of all oscillations contained in light, white is the total presence of all the elements of oscillation. p.42 ‘Black’ and […]

Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Gesture of Photography’ Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books, 2000) 33-40 p.33 The acts of resistance on the part of culture, the cultural conditionality of things, can be seem in the act of photography, and this can, in theory, be read off from photographs themselves. In theory, cultural conditions seem, […]

In Our Image


Morris, Wright. ‘In Our Image’ Time Pieces: Writing, Photography and Memory (London: Aperture, 1999) 1-10 [Originally published in The Massachusetts Review, Winter 1978] p.4 The multifaceted aspect of reality has been commonplace since cubism, but we continue to see what we will, rather than what is there. Image making is our preference for what we […]