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Durham: Duke UP, For Solomon-Godeau, deliberation and purpose are immanent within the act of photography and to suggest an artist-subject disconnect is to be disingenuous. Solomon-Godeau is keen to pull at the thread of the ostensibly de jure universality of photography as a medium and the de facto patriarchy with which it is historically associated.
In this essay, Solomon-Godeau repeatedly refers to our natural and innate voyeurism, as well as our interest in the arresting and morbid. We photograph that which we want to immortalize, preserve, and ideologically extend beyond the frame, Solomon-Godeau and Sontag seem to suggest. As a result, any involvement—such as viewing, sharing, or publishing—with the Abu Ghraib photographs, carries complex moral questions of agency. Solomon-Godeau frequent invokes the ideas of Sontag and Roland Barthes, and writes self-reflexively, almost genre-phobically, and is reluctant to alight on labels, umbrella terms, and bywords.
The one significant shortcoming of the essay collection, which, as a whole, is a lively and successful dressing-down of photographic elitism and gatekeeping, is its American-centric examples. We see reflected in the works of Woodman, Callahan, Maier and others our unyielding gaze toward the ostensibly taboo, forever seeking to penetrate the hidden and private worlds around us and to bring them more clearly into view.
Skip to content. Will Carroll. Will Carroll is a doctoral researcher based at University of Birmingham, UK, whose research primarily focuses on ideas of narration and representation of the American small-town in the first half of the twentieth century. From Sherwood Anderson's melancholic Midwestern towns, Norman Rockwell's nostalgic renderings of New England, to Willa Cather's Plains novels, he is interested in how the small-town model varies across America's vast topography and why community ideologies continue to prevail in the American consciousness.
Photography after Photography
Author: Abigail Solomon-Godeau. Editor: Sarah Parsons. Bringing a wealth of information to bear on photographic meaning, Solomon-Godeau explores her topics in historical context. In doing so, she demonstrates that the way many photographs are understood today has little to do with the circumstance of their creation, or the manner in which they were originally distributed and viewed. In Photography after Photography , she continues the crucial work of examining the situations and stakes of representation. Essays written over the last two decades take up case studies as diverse as Cindy Sherman and Abu Ghraib; Solomon-Godeau reminds us that no image can truly be seen without a consideration of the power structures that shape it. Feminism informs every word of this powerful examination of culture, rigorously specific in its examples, yet expansive in its reach.
Photography after Photography: Gender, Genre, History
Durham: Duke UP, For Solomon-Godeau, deliberation and purpose are immanent within the act of photography and to suggest an artist-subject disconnect is to be disingenuous. Solomon-Godeau is keen to pull at the thread of the ostensibly de jure universality of photography as a medium and the de facto patriarchy with which it is historically associated. In this essay, Solomon-Godeau repeatedly refers to our natural and innate voyeurism, as well as our interest in the arresting and morbid.
Since the s, Solomon-Godeau has plumbed notions of gender and sexual difference in photography, even after alternative critical methodologies eclipsed psychoanalysis in academic discourse. Solomon-Godeau does not analyze pop culture, yet her criticism takes on this quandary: today, even in art history, feminism is often invoked only to be dismissed as partisan ideology. During the period covered in this book to , photography was transformed by digital technology, and photo criticism moved from medium specificity to universal discussions of image culture. Photography after Photography is organized chronologically, without subsections.
Abigail Solomon-Godeau’s “Photography After Photography,” Camera Austria // December, 2017