Walker Evans - Houses and Billboards in Atlanta, Georgia, 1936
"As a way of beginning, one might compare the art of photography to the act of pointing. All of us, even the best-mannered of us, occasionally point, and it must be true that some of us point to more interesting facts, events, circumstances, and configurations than others.
It is not difficult to imagine a person...who might elevate the act of pointing to a creative plane, a person who would lead us through the fields and streets and indicate a sequence of phenomena and aspects that would be beautiful, humorous, morally instructive, cleverly ordered, mysterious, or astonishing, once brought to our attention, but that had been unseen before, or seen dumbly, without comprehension...we would be uncertain ... how much of our pleasure and sense of enlargement had come from the things pointed to and how much from the pattern created by the pointer"
- John Szarkowski, excerpt from catalogue essay for The Work of Eugene Atget: Old France, MOMA, NY, 1981.
Over the next two weeks, we will be looking at four major American photographic works.
This week, we will be reviewing Walker Evans' book American Photographs and Robert Frank's work The Americans
There is an interesting essay on the two photographers by Tod Papageorge here.
At the same time, we will be reading Stephen Shore's book The Nature of Photographs (on temporary reserve in Richview library). We will also look at this lecture - Photography and the limits of Representation given by Shore in London in 2010 that explores further the themes introduced in the book.