18 April 2006

Markets for Photographs of Atrocity

Susie Linfield writes what I think is among the most provocative commentary on photography and politics these days. Among my first posts was to her work and I have revisited recurrent themes from her writings more recently as well. In the most recent issue of Dissent Linfield has taken "The Last Page" to ponder the perplexities of photographers selling and, more chillingly, of collectors buying, images of cruelty and horror. Her reflections were prompted by recent exhibitions in NYC of work by photographers represented by the photo agencies VII and Magnum. She concludes:

"The buying of such images intrigues me. What does it mean to have the political atrocities of our time hanging on the wall of a home or business or institution? Is this a way to keep the world's suffering close at hand - or to tame it? In the days since seeing theses shows I have tried, without success, to imagine the purchasers of these photographs, and their motives; I've tried to envision too, the places where they might hang the hacked up Rwandan, the unbearably light Serb Soldier and the Cambodian corpses."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hace casi un año que visité por primera vez Bosnia. Viajé en autobús desde Duvroznik hasta Sarajevo y quedé horrorizada por la visión, ante mis propios ojos, de la destrucción provocada por la guerra. En la ciudad de Sarajevo me esperaba la desolación. Me resultó imposible hablar con los ciudadanos sobre la experiencia, nadie respondía a mis sutiles preguntas. Lo que creía un hotel-cuartel de militares resultó nada menos que la sede del festival anual de cine de Sarajevo. Y son como yo y yo soy uno más de ellos... no puedo creer que esto haya podido suceder a mi lado y no haya hecho nada para evitarlo.

18 April, 2006 17:11  

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