28 December 2006

Stieglitz & His Ironic Legacy (2)

Lewis Hine. "Young Russian Jewess, Ellis Island." New York, 1905.

Lewis Hine. "Icarus atop Empire State Building." New York, 1931.

Since Lewis Hine provided the foil against which Stieglitz asserted the claim to "art" for his chosen work, I thought it might be helpful to post a couple of images from Hine (Both © The Estate of Lewis Hine.) As Trachtenberg points out, it is difficult to see such images as objective reports devoid of aesthetic strategy or compostitional concerns. As he also points out Stieglitz and his accolytes (and those who have since insised on the art-documentary dichotmomy) were more concerned with "institutional recognition" than with the cogency of their categorization. And in this, since they were preoccupied with making photography into Art, they turned out to be "aesthetic conservatives."

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim: Robert Hariman (my co-author) and I are big fans of your website. We are rhetoricians with a very strong interest in political theory. We have a book coming out with the U. of Chicago in June (No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and LIberal Democracy) where we argue that photojournalism is best understood as a mode of public art. The work we do engages the relationship between art and politics, and it might be relevant to your class. Here are three essays we've written that might be of some use to you. If needs be, I can send you pdf's of each. And, of course, we'd be very interested in your reactions to the work. Keep up the good work with your website.

John Lucaites
Rhetoric and Public Culture
Dept. of Communication and Culture
Indiana University (lucaites@indiana.edu)

“Public Identity and Collective Memory in U.S. Iconic Photography: The Image of ‘Accidental Napalm.” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 20 (March 2003): 33-65. With Robert Hariman. 2004 NCA Golden Anniversary Monograph Award. Reprinted in Visual Rhetoric: A Reader, ed. Lester Olson, et al., SAGE Press, in press.

“Performing Civic Identity: The Iconic Photograph of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 88 (2002): 363-392. With Robert Hariman.

“Dissent and Emotional Management in a Liberal-Democratic Society: The Kent State Iconic Photograph.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 31 (2001): 5-31. With Robert Hariman. 2001 Charles Kneupper Award, Rhetoric Society of America; 2002 NCA Golden Anniversary Monograph Award.

29 December, 2006 16:59  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

John & Robert, Thanks for the encouragement. And thanks for the suggestions. I actually plan to teach a narrower course next fall on politics and photography for which your work seems a perfect fit. I will track down the papers and look for the book in the spring (at the moment it is snowing here in Western NY, so any reason to remember that there is such a thing as spring is welcome!) Happy New Year

30 December, 2006 10:40  

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