Nearby Café Home > Art & Photography > Photocritic International

After Postmodernism — What?

No matter how pampered and groomed, how sleek and well-fed they appear to us superficially, can we fail to understand why, when we ask these starvelings to make art that might nourish us, they not only “prefer not to” (like Melville’s Bartleby the scrivener) but couldn’t possibly do so — even if they wanted to with all their hearts? […]

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. … […]

Photo Ed: Awaiting the Millennium, 3 (1989)

More and more, teaching artists and art teachers (these are not synonyms) work under short-term contracts of two years or less, moving continuously from job to job. Their tenuous hold on stability is further undermined by the evolution of an underclass of freelance pieceworkers: part-time teachers willing to work for next to nothing, with no protection or benefits. […]