05 November 2011

Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951

Photograph © Jerome Liebling

This exhibition opened yesterday at The Jewish Museum in NYC. It seems like it will be worth a trip sometime. It is interesting to see the ongoing tension between politics and art surrounding not only the original work, but what one finds in the notices of the opening. I lifted this image by Jerry Liebling from The Lens blog where the post stresses how both politics and aesthetics inflected work by members of the League. (The caption here is interesting compared to other places you can find the image on the web as "Union Square, New York, 1948.") But the post itself is trying hard to rescue members of the Photo League from the imagined charge that they were simply propagandists. Hence the resolution of the discussion in how members were committed to making beautiful images.

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Blogger Public Squalor said...

Yes it's as if the only possible political discourse in photography is propaganda.

I think its also likely that the humanism depicted in many of the photographs was borne of the same impulses that drew many of these folks to socialism or communism.

Anyway I'm looking forward to seeing the show. The Photo League is too often ignored.

Thanks for sharing this.

~ peace

06 November, 2011 14:50  

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