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“Why I’m Saying No To This New Arbus Book” (1995)

[In the fall of 1995 I received a review copy of the new Diane Arbus monograph, Untitled, just published by Aperture. Planning to review it, I sought answers to several legal and structural questions its production and publication raised. Becoming suspicious when I proved unable to get satisfactory answers — indeed, any answers at all […]

Trope: The Well-Made Photograph (5)

Through a chain of what seem to be unconnected circumstances and separate but reasonable decisions, what was once process-oriented became product-oriented, what was once relatively private or en famille became public, and what was once concentrated in the final semester of the senior year expanded in the only direction it could — backward — to infuse the entirety of the students’ experience within the program. If this could happen in a BFA photo program, at a post-secondary level wherein final thesis projects in the arts are not universally considered mandatory, it’s easy to envision the importance they acquire at the MFA level, where they are in fact generally required. […]