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New Documents, Revisited (a)

This non-political, anti-theoretical posture denies categorically and consistently that such photographs are in any way about their literal subject matter, insisting instead that photographs are entirely about themselves and in no way concerned with either the photographer’s inner life or whatever took place in front of the lens at the moment of exposure. As a stance, it became not just widespread but almost mandatory among practitioners of this genre of photography. […]

Time Capsule 1972: Collier’s Encyclopedia Yearbook

Conceptual art, happenings, and the snapshot aesthetic met again this year, often with better results than expected. Bernadette Mayer, a New York poet, shot an entire 36-exposure roll of color film every day for a month, had them printed by a drugstore processing concession, and mounted “Memory,” a show which included all 1,116 images in sequence, accompanied by a taped monologue which used the photos as a jumping-off place. […]

Ken Ohara: Extreme Portraits 1970-1999

Early this year Miyako Yoshinaga, a Chelsea gallerist, invited me to attend the March 2nd opening of a mini-retrospective, “Ken Ohara: Extreme Portraits 1970-1999,” and meet the photographer. She seemed surprised when I accepted. But I sensed something ceremonial about the occasion, and thought I should go. […]

Spring Fever 2016: Bits & Pieces (2)

On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend here on Staten Island we suddenly plunged from a chilly spring straight into hot summer. Nothing gradual about it. I was ready for some warm, but I prefer a slow slide into it and a slow climb out. And our then-recently planted veggies seemed skeptical about the sharp […]

Charles Gatewood (1942-2016): A Farewell (1)

[Photographer Charles Gatewood died on Thursday, April 28, 2016 in San Francisco. According to his KQED obituary, the hospital attributed his death to “injuries after he fell off his third-story balcony several weeks before.” The New York Times obituary quotes his sister, Betty Gatewood, as saying, “There is no doubt that his death was the […]