Rethinking Photography: A Historical Perspective

Autor: Madeline Ferretti-Theilig
[erschienen in: IMAGE 33 (Januar 2021)]

The following takes a historical look at the shifting conceptions of photog-raphy from the 1950s on, identifying foundational premises which have deter-mined the discourse of photography into the 21st century while also creating contradictions between theory and practice. Using the controversial reception history of Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man exhibition as an example, core aspects of photography’s performativity are elucidated, which conven-tional theory has failed to accommodate. Further, historical as well as emerg-ing resources are identified which facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of photography’s social significance.

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