11 December 2006

FSA:The American Vision

I was looking through this new book - Gilles Mora and Beverly Brannan. FSA:The American Vision (New York, Harry Abrams) - at the bookstore yesterday. It is a nice, fairly comprehensive compendium with many lesser known images by a large number of well known photographers, including Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Ben Shahn, Carl Mydans, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Walcott, and Gordon Parks. I also noticed that you can buy it for $53 US from Amazon ,while it is listed at $85 US on the cover. So, I may decide to use Amazon rather than the local bookseller on this one. Or maybe I will simply bite the bullett.

One of the interesting things about the FSA photographers, as I have mentioned here several times before [1] [2] [3] [4], is the predicament they raise in their work of relating to government agencies and assignments and agendas. I admire the work of many of the photographers associated with the FSA, but the admiration is hardly unambivalent. What if their liberal-left leaning politics were different? Would I still admire the images they made? What if their politics had been more transparent? What if their politics had been more consistently leftist rather than liberal? (If only we had something like New Deal Liberalism as a live option today! And if only that liberalism had been less thoroughly anti-socialist.)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who read French, I wrote a review of the book at http://www.transatlantica.org/document1341.html
It a fairly negative assessment of a botched up work, or, as I call it, a missed opportunity.

14 September, 2007 09:04  

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