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On John Berger on Photography

In reading those of my colleagues who tend to wax philosophic, I consider it always useful to keep in mind that Aristotle’s reasoning led him to conclude that adult women had fewer teeth than adult men, and that his hermeneutics never required him to test this hypothesis by looking into a human female’s mouth and counting. […]

Clarence John Laughlin: In Memoriam (2)

I know dozens of photographers over fifty years old who never got their due and are beginning to realize that they may never get it. After three or four or five decades of work, they begin to wonder if, in the current public feasting on photography, there are any scraps for them. […]

PRC Founder’s Talk (3)

I mourn the closing of Views, not only (or even primarily) because I was its founding editor and felt a parental relationship to it but because that journal, and a baker’s dozen like it, have proven essential to the recent literature of photography. They provide the historical trace of what’s gone on in various parts of the country, they serve as testing grounds for younger writers and editors, and they function as stages for thoughtful commentary from all of us. […]

PRC Founder’s Talk (2)

I’ve spent some time in recent years pondering the word citizenship. This began when a good friend pressed me to define the public function of criticism more precisely. To my considerable surprise, I heard myself explain, “It’s the activity of responsible citizenship within a given community.” Though I’ve worked as a professional critic for close to thirty years, I hadn’t known I believed that. […]

PRC Founder’s Talk (1)

Long, long ago (1976), in a galaxy far, far away (the New England region of the United States, specifically Boston), I helped to found an organization that, amazingly, still exists: the Photographic Resource Center. This year the PRC celebrated its 40th anniversary. In 1996 the PRC celebrated its 20th anniversary with a series of events, one of which involved my giving a talk. As usual in such situations, I used the opportunity provided by the occasion to make some trouble, as you’ll see. … […]