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The Origins of the Wall Accessory (2)

These artifacts are not intended to engage the discourse of art or creativity on any level whatsoever. No meaningful gauge can be applied to them; since they take no risks by which they could be considered failures, it is impossible for them to succeed. […]

The Origins of the Wall Accessory (1)

There was an official designation for the entire object (image plus mat plus backing board plus frame) which I held in my hands, and the appropriate nomenclature was right there in big letters on a white label pasted to the back. “WALL ACCESSORY,” it said, just like that, and in a flash I knew that I had found not just a bargain but a metaphor. […]

Autumn Leaves: Bits and Pieces

I rarely find myself returning to a news photograph for its nuances. But Saul Loeb’s image of Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner from a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 16, 2017, proves an exception. […]

Susan Sontag: Off Photography (2)

One of the book’s most undermining weaknesses and chief disappointments, beyond its lack of foundation in photography’s morphology and hermeneutics, is its scanting of applied exegetics — the consistent refusal to address bodies of work and single images, the primary works in the medium. […]

Susan Sontag: Off Photography (1)

Since being impressive to a non-knowledgeable audience is a natural consequence of her choice of style, tone, stance, and pace, one can presume that to be Sontag’s intent. Similarly, since to anyone with a background in photography Sontag’s grasp of the medium’s morphology is (to be charitable) shaky, and her ideas almost entirely received, one can equally presume that — except as an aggressive act — the book is not meant to be taken seriously by an audience versed in photography, visual art, or visual communication. […]