Bazragore His books, which often focus on the relationship between photography and power, include The Burden of Representation: You know, as a society we like to think that what defines rrpresentation is our desire towards increasing freedom. Consistently brilliant, attractive, and compelling. The way class is a subset of all of these other relationships and therefore changing that thhe ought to change all others too. Jonathan rated it it was amazing Mar 28, Some of them I will eventually get around to reviewing on my blog — but that might take a while. John Tagg represents a new voice in American photo criticism. What sorts of agencies and institutions had the power to give them represdntation status?
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Essays on Photographies and Histories Author: John Tagg Tagg examines the history of the use of photographs as documentary images, in courtrooms, hospitals, and police work, on passports, permits, and licenses.
Rejecting the idea of photography as a record of reality, Tagg traces a previously unexamined history that includes the meaning, status, and effects of photographs. Tagg examines the history of the use of photographs as documentary images, in courtrooms, hospitals, and police work, on passports, permits, and licenses. A probing, compassionate and lucid account of the institutionalization of the photographic process and its social and political consequences.
But how did such usages come to be established and accepted, and when? What kinds of photographs were seen as purely instrumental and able to function in this way? What sorts of agencies and institutions had the power to give them this status? And more generally, what conception of photographic representation did this involve, and what were its consequences?
Drawing on semiotics, on debates in cultural theory, and on the work of Foucault and Althusser, John Tagg rejects the idea of photography as a record of reality and the notion of a documentary tradition, and traces a previously unexamined history that has profound implications not only for the history and theory of photography but also for understanding the role new means and modes of representation were to play in processes of modern social regulation.
In response, these essays argue for a rigorous historical and institutional analysis of the meaning, status, and effects of photographs, rooted in a historical grasp of the growth and dispersal of the modern state. What distinguishes him from the prevailing, parochial discourse is his familiarity with the ideas of leading figures in the Marxist and Poststructuralist debate in Europe.
The rapidly growing, though still just incipient discipline of photographic history has much to gain from applying these ideas. Provides a framework of theoretical and methodological self-awareness and a thorough interrogation of the problem of realism.
The common themes and arguments within them, along with his carefully considered introduction, provide a new knowledge of photography and of its varied institutional histories.
The Burden of Representation
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