Subjective Objective: A Century of Social Photography

Subjective Objective

Edited by Donna Gustafson (Zimmerli Museum/Rutgers) and Andrés Mario Zervigón (Developing Room/Rutgers)

Socio-documentary photography is one of the most emotional of all photographic genres. The clear pictorial language shows the passion of the photographer to bring about political and social change. This volume, related to an exhibtion of the same name at the Zimmerli Museum and a Developing Room symposium, assembles iconic works by photographers from the early 20th century to contemporary artists in large-format reproductions.
Socio-documentary photography established itself in the 20th century and focuses on the lives of socially disadvantaged people. Pioneers like Berenice Abbott, Max Alpert, Walker Evans, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Gordon Parks, Alexander Rodchenko, Sebastião Salgado and Weegee – to name but a few of the photographers featured in the book – used their powerful photos on behalf of those people whom society largely ignores. The volume demonstrates impressively how the genre developed, how it spread in the United States, the Soviet Union and in other political systems, and the influence of today’s social media.