Photography Theory in Historical Perspective
April 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
- uses case studies to explain photographic practices in contemporary art and place them in the context of theory
- presents current debates on theory of photography through comparisons to research of other visual media
- applicable to vernacular and documentary photography as well as art photography
Structure of the Book
What is a "Medium"?
Framing the Focus of the Book.
Analog Versus Digital.
The Overlap of Themes.
1 Representation in Photography: The Competition with Painting.
Photography, Objectivity, and Representation.
Straight and Composed Photography: The Impact of the Digital.
Photographs as Iconic Index of the Reality Represented.
Aura, Authenticity, and Reproducibility in Photography.
Painting-like Photographs Versus Photo-like Paintings as Multimediating Pictures: The Question of Color.
Sharp and Blurred Photographs: Transparency and Hypermediacy.
2 Time in Photography: The Rivalry with Time-Based Arts.
Barthes's That-has-Been and Punctum.
Time Exposure and Instantaneity in Photographs.
Serial Documentation and the Decisive Moment.
Presence and Absence in Photography: Replaced Images Versus Objects of Contemplation.
3 Place and Space in Photography: Positioning Toward Virtual Places and Spatial Objects.
Constructed Places in Relation to Places That Exist(ed).
Monocular Perspective Investigated Through Divergent and Poly-ocular Perspectives.
Spatial Photographs as Extension of the Photo as Two-dimensional Image.
4 Photography's Social Function: The Documentary Legacy.
"Photography Against the Grain".
Photography, Text, and Context.
(Post-)Documentary Photographs as Art. Color, and the Politics of (Re)Presentation.
Critical Approaches of Advertising and Fashion Photography.
5 Self-reflective Photography.
Photography as Record of the Reflection of Light.
Reflections on Taking Photographs: Photograph–Camera–Photographer.
The Photograph as Product of a Process of Reflection.
Psychoanalytic Theories Projected in Photography.
From Self-reflective Digital Photography Back to Classical Mirror Mythologies.
Credits and sources.
Helen Westgeest is editor and one of the authors of Take Place: Photography and Place from Multiple Perspectives (2009).
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