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Guest Post 24: Robert Dannin on the “Day in the Life” Projects (d)

No one even attempted to conceal that A Day in the Life of China was a de facto joint venture with the ruling Communist Party. Teaching the young Collins maestros how to fiddle, the apparatchiks crafted A Day in the Life of China as “a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.” Key partners in executing this lofty theme were to be the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese National Publishing Industry Trading Corporation, and the Great Wall Publishing House. […]

Guest Post 24: Robert Dannin on the “Day in the Life” Projects (c)

“A Day in the Life of America” was a classic bait-and-switch maneuver, directing the public gaze toward nonsense images while the Reagan administration savagely attacked ordinary working people. Lacking spontaneity, decontextualized, and bordering on puffery, the artless Day in the Life of America remains arguably the most embarrassing collection of images in the annals of photography. […]

Guest Post 24: Robert Dannin on the “Day in the Life” Projects (b)

With great hubris, Rick Smolan and David Cohen were going to reinvent photojournalism. The first tactic of this radical makeover: ignore conventional reportage by dispersing photographers to randomly selected venues and inviting them to burn as much film as possible in a 24-hour period. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa and John Morris (e)

If, as we are regularly encouraged to do, we pay heed to the lives and works of Robert Capa and John Morris, then, in the spirit of the field of journalism in which they both worked and to which they declared their commitment, we should do so “warts and all.” The fabrication of their D-Day myth has a prominent place among those blemishes. […]

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. […]