American Exposures: Photography and Community in the Twentieth Century

American Exposures: Photography and Community in the Twentieth Century

by Louis Kaplan
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0816645701

ISBN-13: 9780816645701

Pub. Date: 11/25/2005

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Photographs have the power to define and shape a community of people—for those who are revealed as well as for those who view them. Louis Kaplan addresses this phenomenon through a constellation of innovative essays that draw on the artistic renderings of national, ethnic, and global community. Spanning the twentieth century and profusely illustrated,

Overview

Photographs have the power to define and shape a community of people—for those who are revealed as well as for those who view them. Louis Kaplan addresses this phenomenon through a constellation of innovative essays that draw on the artistic renderings of national, ethnic, and global community. Spanning the twentieth century and profusely illustrated, American Exposures sheds light on a wide range of photographs, from Arthur Mole’s propagandistic “living photographs” of American icons and symbols to the exploration of contemporary subcultural communities by the Korean-born photographer and performance artist Nikki Lee, and asserts that the depiction of community is a central component to photography. 

Examining an eclectic collection of photographers, American Exposures deploys a number of critical concepts and theories developed by Jean-Luc Nancy in The Inoperative Community, as well as other philosophers, and applies them to the field of photography studies. Combining artistic and historical material with interdisciplinary theory, Kaplan moves beyond indexical thinking to demonstrate how an expository approach offers valuable resources with which to analyze visual communication. In doing so, he highlights the distinct powers of both community and photography as discourses of exposure. 

With an original approach to photography from Edward Steichen’s Family of Man exhibition to Pedro Meyer and the rise of the digital image, Kaplan points to a new way to think about the intimate relationship among photography, American life, and the artistic imagination. 

Louis Kaplan is associate professor of history and theory of photography and new media in the Graduate Department of History of Art at the University of Toronto; he also coordinates the Visual Culture and Communication program at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. He is the author of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: Biographical Writings.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816645701
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
11/25/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsIX
AcknowledgmentsXIII
Introduction: Community-Exposed PhotographyXV
1"Living Photographs" and the Formation of National Community: Reviewing the Troops with Mole, Goldbeck, and Company1
2"We Don't Know": Archibald MacLeish's Land of the Free and the Question of American Community27
3Photo Globe: The Family of Man and the Global Rhetoric of Photography55
4Photography and the Exposure of Community: Reciting Nan Goldin's Ballad81
5Community in Fragments: Romare Bearden's Projections and the Interruption of Myth107
6Slashing Toward Diaspora: On Frederic Brenner's jews/america/a representation131
7Digital Chicanos: Pedro Meyer, Truths & Fictions, and Border Theory155
8Performing Community: Nikki S. Lee's Photographic Rites of Passing173
Notes195
Index229

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