Basic Critical Theory for Photographers

Basic Critical Theory for Photographers

Ashley la Grange

Language: English

Pages: 284

ISBN: 0240516524

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

If you want to understand the key debates in photography and learn how to apply the fascinating issues raised by critical theory to your own practical work, this is the book for you! This accessible book cuts through often difficult and intimidating academic language to deliver understandable, stimulating discussion and summaries of the original texts.

Key works by great writers such as Sontag and Barthes are explored, along with those from other prominent critics. You are guided through a broad range of issues, including the differences between Eastern and Western art, post-modernism, sexism, the relationship between photography and language and many other crucial debates. The book is illustrated by many classic images by eminent international photographers.

Each chapter is followed by stimulating assignments and activities to get you thinking critically and apply theoretical knowledge to your own practical work. A helpful glossary provides quick access to all key terms and a substantial index references key words within the original essays which are not normally indexed.

A must-have aid to anyone studying critical theory, this book provides intelligently written, illuminating insights on the 21st century's dominant art form.

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the transformation of arts into meta-arts or media’ (p. 149). Traditional fine art is elitist; a single artist; a unique work of art; a hierarchy in terms of subject matter; a distinction between the genuine and fake or copy; and an assumption that 58 Susan Sontag, On Photography CHAPTER 3 subjects and experiences have meaning. The media are more egalitarian; collaborative; multiple works; all subject matter equally valid; they have an ambivalent attitude towards meaning and originals; and

was not shown, allowing for the sentimental myth of the Indian to develop as opposed to the negative view of the immigrant. ‘Or consider a photo book on the teeming masses of India – how different is looking through it from going to an Indian restaurant or wearing an Indian shirt or a sari? We consume the world through images, through shopping, through eating . . .’ (p. 311). Rosler quotes from the December 1979 issue of American Photographer to illustrate a number of points. One article in the

result is that critical theory becomes unnecessarily elitist and many people who would be quite capable of debating the issues are discouraged from doing so. The idea behind this book is to draw these disenfranchised people into some of the debates. Each chapter is followed by a series of assignments, some theoretical, some practical and some a combination of both, which should generate critical thinking by the student. The student and/or institution the student is studying at must decide the

something that is real. It does not, however, offer the pleasure as it is. Rather it promises happiness, happiness gained by being envied by others, and this is glamour. It is not therefore offering the pleasure in itself. The better the publicity, the more the spectator is aware of what they are missing. Yet this glamour is very solitary. 7 CHAPTER1 John Berger, Ways of Seeing Being envied depends on your not sharing your experience with those that envy you. This explains the impersonal and

was photographing signs and the use of images from mass media long before post-modernism was even a concept. In 1874, the art establishment rejected impressionism, but in turn found itself rejected as the art world embraced changes. Since then western art has gone through numerous major changes. Just as the art establishment in the 1870s was rigidly stuck in a formulaic way of doing and seeing things, could it be argued that contemporary art/photography is being stifled by having to meet the

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