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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. […]

The Skeleton in the Met Closet (1970)

The Metropolitan Museum has behaved like the latter in regard to photography, with the result that it has become so irrelevant and useless that it is in imminent danger of becoming completely divorced from the living medium. Unless the museum decides to take immediate steps to rectify this, it might do well to consider the possibility of turning its holdings over to any one of several other institutions which would be capable of treating them with the respect they deserve — and proud to do so as well. […]

What Makes One Photo Worth $2.9 Million? (2007)

[Checking the news this past December 12, I learned from Forbes that “On December 9 PRNewswire announced that Australian photographer Peter Lik sold a photograph entitled ‘Phantom’ for a record-setting $6.5 million. ‘Phantom,’ now the world’s most expensive photograph ever sold, was shot in a subterranean cavern in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon.” (See Rachel Hennessey’s report, […]