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2014: That Was The Year That Was

Unexpectedly, the dismantling of the myth of Robert Capa’s adventures on Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the subsequent fate of his negatives became the year’s main project at this blog. I also took up the collapsing market value of post-secondary degrees in studio art and photography; the willful, mindless destruction of an excellent example of such a program in Vevey, Switzerland, which I witnessed firsthand; the photographic strategies and style(s) of Shelby Lee Adams vs. his claim to documentarian status; and the insidious agenda of the “internet everwhere” tendency. […]

Year-End Ends and Odds

Kim Kardashian, intent on extending her 15 minutes of fame indefinitely (or at least milking it for all it’s worth), will release a book of selfies next April. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “vanity publishing.” Titled “Selfish,” priced at $19.95, under the prestigious imprint of Rizzoli International Publications, it will run 352 pages and include more than 1,000 selfies — surely as redundant an act as one could conceive for someone whose image has become inescapable. […]

Birthday Musings 12/19/14

Professionally speaking, this past year proved unusually uneventful, even by recent standards. Travel no longer holds much attraction for me (been there, done that), so I welcomed the chance to spend most of the year here at home, enjoying the changes of the seasons and our daily routines. […]

The Photographer as Citizen (4)

We — not we in the U.S., nor we in the west, but we as a species — need those among us willing not just to watch but to witness, and sometimes to bear witness. We do not encourage and support them by insisting that, beyond that commitment, they have some vague moral obligation to intervene as well, or to second-guess their quick decisions on that score in fraught and dangerous situations. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (18)

Ironically, Robert Capa’s life and work — committed, above all, to the fight against fascism — has ended up, by his own doing, enmeshed in its very own “big lie,” which, repeated often enough (as that strategy’s progenitor predicted), has become what people believe. An object lesson in how “the big lie” functions. We’ve had 70 years of that lie — surely enough. It ends here. […]