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.
For World AIDS Day 2010 the Developing Room joined forces with the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Art Program to publish From Ethiopia to New Jersey: Photography and HIV/AIDS. This catalogue accompanied an exhibition of the same title held at the Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters Gallery (November 22, 2010 - January 13, 2011). Edited by Tanya Sheehan, it includes essays by Sheehan, Ashley Atkins, and Ellen Brueckner as well as artwork by Eric Gottesman and the Ethiopian collective Sudden Flowers.
Recent decades have seen photography’s privileged relationship to the real come under question. Spurred by the postmodern critique of photography in the 1980s and the rise of digital technologies soon thereafter, scholars have been asking who and what built this understanding of the medium in the first place.
Photography and Doubt reflects on this interest in photography’s referential power by discussing it in rigorously historical terms. How was the understanding of photographic realism cultivated in the first place? What do cases of staged and manipulated photography reveal about that realism’s hold on audiences across the medium’s history? Have doubts about photography’s testimonial power stimulated as much knowledge as its realism?
Edited by Sabine T. Kriebel and Andrés Mario Zervigón, Photography and Doubt is the first multi-authored collection specifically designed to explore these questions. Its 13 original essays, illustrated with 73 color images, explore cases when the link between the photographic image and its referent was placed under stress, and whenphotography was as attuned to its myth-making capabilities as to its claims to authenticity.
Recent decades have seen a flourishing interest in and speculation about the origins of photography. Spurred by rediscoveries of ‘first’ photographs and proclamations of photography’s death in the digital age, scholars have been rethinking who and what invented the medium.
Photography and Its Origins reflects on this interest in photography’s beginnings by reframing it in critical and specifically historiographical terms. How and why do we write about the origins of the medium? Whom or what do we rely on to construct those narratives? What’s at stake in choosing to tell stories of photography’s genesis in one way or another? And what kind of work can those stories do? Edited by Tanya Sheehan and Andrés Mario Zervigón, this collection of 16 original essays, illustrated with 32 colour images, showcases prominent and emerging voices in the field of photography studies. Their research cuts across disciplines and methodologies, shedding new light on old questions about histories and their writing. Photography and Its Origins will serve as a valuable resource for students and scholars in art history, visual and media studies, and the history of science and technology.