27 June 2006

Sontag exhibit at the Met

The Metropolitcan Museum of Art is running a special exhibition this summer in memory of Susan Sontag and especially her writings on photography. As to particulars, I actually disagree with Sontag on nearly everything. However, I think her analyses of photography are important for (at least) three reasons: (1) they came from someone who was not part of the art history mafia; (2) they focused unrelentingly on the relationship of photography to politics and society; (3) and they were intellectually serious, as this notice from The Village Voice quite rightly makes clear. The irony, of course, is that if Sontag's work is, in large part, a set of meditaitons on the need to create space for serious thought, her plea or demand or quest is now being treated as a museum artifact.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great point. If anything, Sontag would resist becoming an artefact.

It deprives her, I think she would say, of the freedom -- even right -- to define the moral context in which her work is presented.

(The context in which it is received being the right of the beholder, as she makes clear in On Photography and other places.)

28 June, 2006 17:21  

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