- What is and has been meant by documentary?
- Photography is routinely label as documentary by the 1860s
- Désiré Charnay - Mayan ruins
- Samuel Bourne - India & Nepal
- Felice Beato - Crimea and the Opium Wars
- Matthew Brady - Civil War photos
- Francis Frith - Egypt and the Holy Land
- What is the purpose of this representation?
- Jacob Rii
- Sally Stein's Theory of Jacob Rii
- Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin - The Story of Friendship
- What is Farm Security Administration?
- Build emotion in image
- Roy Stryker - Farm Security Administration's documentary enterprise
- Dorothea Lange
- New generation of photographers
- Intention of Documentary Enterprise
- Evolution of photography
- Camera obscura
- Abelardo Morell, 1998
- Daguerretype銀版照相法, Positive, 1833-1837
- Talbot, 1840, Paper negative
- Glass Plate Negative玻璃板負片
- Albumen, 1947
- The Collodion Wet Plate, 1851
- Frederick Scott Archer
- Timothy H O'Sullivan
- Carleton Watkins
- Color Negative彩色負片
- William Eggleston
- Steven Sasson,The first portable camera, 1970s
- Sony Floppy Disk & Apple Quick Take
- Is Photography Art?
- Ann Hamilton
- What is Photographer's duty?
- Felix Nadar, 1860, Aerial view of the Quartier de I'Etoile
- Clarence H. White
- Edward Jean Steichen
- Frank Eugene
- Walter Benjamin
- Dadaism(1916) and Surrealism(early 1920s)
- Man Ray
- Photo Secession攝影分離派, 1902
- Paul Strand, American, 1916
- f.64 & Edward Weston
- Alma Lavenson
- Imogen Cunningham
- Consuelo Kanaga, The Question, 1950
- Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936
- Social realism and the American documentary tradition
- Appropriation & Parafiction
- Sherrie Levine, After Walker Evans, 1981
- Edward Weston, Nude, 1925 → Sherrie Levine, Untitled, 1981 → Anne Collier, Veterans Day, 2011
- Richard Prince
- Thomas Demand
- Lynda Benglis, Now
- Lynda Benglis
- Ana Mendieta
- Catherine Opie
- Renee Cox
"Documentary" is is not employed with any regularity before the late 1920s, nearly a century after its invention.”
What is and has been meant by documentary?
- What is the notion of documentary?
- photography to be retrospectively differentiated from the plural field of nineteenth-century production?
- Is documentary to be narrowly defined as an investigative or didactic enterprise or broadly defined to include all non-aesthetic and informational uses?
- Is the avatar of documentary photography the police mug shot possessing evidentiary status, 2 the horse race's photo finish, or photography animated by social concern
"Realism is an issue not only for literature: it is a major political, philosophical and practical issue and must be handled and explained as such." - Bertolt Brecht
"The status of photography at its birth hinged on what was thought to be its capacity for objective transcription." - Martha Rosler
Photography is routinely label as documentary by the 1860s
Related works are animated by the desire to fix and register a perceived reality into the two-dimensional space of presentation.
Désiré Charnay - Mayan ruins
Samuel Bourne - India & Nepal
Felice Beato - Crimea and the Opium Wars
Matthew Brady - Civil War photos
Francis Frith - Egypt and the Holy Land
A nineteenth-century documentary practice didn’t function against the grain of dominant ideologies.
"In stamping photography with the patent of realism, society does nothing but confirm itself in the tautological certainty that an image of reality that conforms to its own representation of objectivity is truly objective." - Pierre Burdieu
What is the purpose of this representation?
photography functions to ratify and affirm the complex ideological web that at any moment in historical time is perceived as reality tout court.
- Former police reporter, journalist
- Improve the human condition through photography
- Documentary model
Sally Stein's Theory of Jacob Rii
“Making Connections with the Camera: Photography and Social Mobility in the Career of Jacob”
- Sally Stein writes about 20th-century photography and its relation to broader question of culture, politics and society.
- Produced a detailed and wholly persuasive account of the latent, rather than manifest, meanings of Riis 's photographs.
- She emphases an interrogation of the subject/object relations that such photography normatively puts in place.
"We can indeed marvel at the consistency of Riis's photography …… The averted gaze, the appearance of unconsciousness or stupefaction, were only a few of the recurring features which gave Riis's pictorial documents stylistic unity and ideological coherence in relation to the text. " - Sally Stein
Documentary forms in film, photography, and letters were most privileged.
Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin - The Story of Friendship
- Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin launched contemporary critique of photographic transparency and autonomy.
- Large scale, federally funded project like F.S.A’s documentary enterprise.
- Critique generated by art movement didn’t has much influence on either the theory or the practice of documentary.
The perceptual and representational critique generated by art movements as various as cubism, dada, surrealism, constructivism, and, of course, photomontage, cannot be said to have had much influence on either the theory or the practice of documentary.
What is Farm Security Administration?
Build emotion in image
Roy Stryker - Farm Security Administration's documentary enterprise
- Roy Stryker is an American economist, government official, and photographer
- Projects director of F.S.A Documentary Enterprise.
- Indicated what type of mood, expression, "feeling" he was after-what we would now term the rhetoric of the image.
Roy Stryker often further indicated what type of mood, expression, "feeling" he was after-what we would now term the rhetoric of the image. Those photographers, like Walker Evans, who had their own aesthetic agendas did not fare well at the F.S.A.
But problems are:
- A pictorial spectacle usually targeted for a different audience and a different class.
- Immobilizing effect produced by presenting the visual "fact" of individual victimization or subjugation as a metonym for the invisible conditions that produced it.
- Photography is less able to deal with collectivity than with individuality.
AND such an effect may produce:
- Irrespective of good intentions, personal or institutional politics, or ameliorative intent.
- To extend photography is less able to deal with collectivity than with individuality,
It was images of the "worthy" as opposed to the "unworthy" poor that were promoted. - William Stott
- Wife of a economist Paul Schuster Taylor
- Individualize and personalize-to present her subjects as objects of compassion and concern.
- Her photographs humanized the consequences of the Great Depression.
- She was well aware of the multiple determinations of photographic meaning (Lange formulated the notion of a "tripod" of meaning-image, caption, text)
"imperialism breeds an imperialist sensibility in all phases of cultural life." - Martha Rosler
"Photography is an offer that cannot be refused." - Victor Burgin
"Photograph should alert us to the working of ideology which always functions to naturalize the cultural." - Roland Barthes
New generation of photographers
- Include an insistence on maintaining control over the work in terms of exhibition, publication, or distribution.
- This new form of documentary takes account of photography's textuality
- Photographer must try to comprehend its embeddedness within discursive or institutional systems in advance
Martha Rosler | The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems
In her work, Martha Rosler has often employed-and deconstructed-photographic conventions in ways that examine the authenticity associated with documentary photography and the unbalanced relationship between disenfranchised communities and their visual representations. Here, Rosler uses a combination of images and texts to respond to earlier documentary photographs of vagrants and alcoholics in Manhattan's run-down Bowery neighborhood.
Fred Lonidier | The Health and Safety Game: Office Worker's Nerve
Fred Lonidier, The Health and Safety Game: Office Worker's Nerve, 1976/1978. Gelatin silver prints on board, overall: 35 × 40 1/8in. (88.9 × 101.9 cm). Purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee and the Director's Discretionary Fund; 2016.1.15. © Fred Lonidier
- Recent critiques of traditional documentary forms are significantly critiques from the Left. (like Like Victor Burgin, Martha Rosler, Sally Stein, Allan Sekula.......)
- Recent criticism and theory is increasingly concerned with the instrumental and ideological functioning of photography, these new forms of documentary practice find themselves progressively marginalized within the precincts of both the photography and art world.
- Pushing the boundaries of documentary form as conventionally understood, and asserting the textuality of photographic imagery, such work attempts to function critically in a double sense:
- Externally: it deals with social and political realities.
- Internally: its critical operation is turned equally, inwardly, upon itself.
Reproductions of reality were powerless to say anything about that reality and that an authentically political photographic practice must be "set up" and "constructed" , this is only one, by no means inclusive theme.
for example, in the photomontages of John Heartfield
Intention of Documentary Enterprise
- To establish the contingency and historical relativity of the category documentary which can then be seen as "spoken" within a particular historical frame.
- To "speak" of agendas both open and covert, personal and institutional, that inform their contents and, to a greater or lesser extent, mediate our reading of them.
- a photograph should alert us to the working of ideology which always functions to naturalize the cultural.
Evolution of photography
Camera obscura, also referred to as pinhole image, is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image on a surface opposite to the opening.
Camera obscura (plural camerae obscurae or camera obscuras, from Latin camera obscūra, "dark chamber"), also referred to as pinhole image, is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen (or, for instance, a wall) is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image (left to right and upside down) on a surface opposite to the opening.
Abelardo Morell, 1998
Daguerretype銀版照相法, Positive, 1833-1837
- Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre
- Use copper sheet plated with silver
- The distinguishing visual characteristics of a daguerreotype are that the image is on a bright (ignoring any areas of tarnish) mirror-like surface of metallic silver and it will appear either positive or negative depending on the lighting conditions and whether a light or dark background is being reflected in the metal. From certain angles the image cannot be seen at all.
Talbot, 1840, Paper negative
- Using paper coated with silver iodide
- Contact printing
Glass Plate Negative玻璃板負片
- 1947, use albumen as a clear substance for carrying silver salt ad adhering to glass
- Long exposure
The Collodion Wet Plate, 1851
- Federick Scott Archer
- The plate has to be exposed and developed before the collodion was allowed to dry
- Size: 11*14 inches or larger
Frederick Scott Archer
Timothy H O'Sullivan
Civil war documentation
- 1871, Gelatin as a carrie for silver salts by Richard L Maddox
- 1888, George Eastman, Kodak → 1935, Kodachrome, by Eastman company
- 1905, 35mm, Oscar Barnack, leica
- 1947, Edwin Land, Polaroid
Steven Sasson,The first portable camera, 1970s
23 seconds to transfer all the black & white pixels
Sony Floppy Disk & Apple Quick Take
Is Photography Art?
What is Photographer's duty?
Felix Nadar, 1860, Aerial view of the Quartier de I'Etoile
First overhead photo, 在熱氣球上搭暗房
Pictorialism is the name given to an international style and aesthetic movement that dominated photography during the later 19th and early 20th centuries. For the pictorialist, a photograph, like a painting, drawing or engraving, was a way of projecting an emotional intent into the viewer's realm of imagination.Pictorialism as a movement thrived from about 1885 to 1915, although it was still being promoted by some as late as the 1940s.
Clarence H. White
Edward Jean Steichen
The question of handmade approach to photography：為什麼要用攝影去呈現繪畫的技法？Cliche?
Dadaism(1916) and Surrealism(early 1920s)
Both were movements in painting as well as photography.
Photo Secession攝影分離派, 1902
By Alfred Stieglitz
The Photo-Secession was an early-20th-century movement that promoted photography as a fine art in general and photographic pictorialism in particular.
toward to modernism, urban, city lifestyle. Alfred Steiglitz also documenting New York city.
Paul Strand, American, 1916
f.64 & Edward Weston
- 1930s, bay area artist
- Straight photography
- Sharp focus, attention to nature form and textures, logic.....
Consuelo Kanaga, The Question, 1950
Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936
Social realism and the American documentary tradition
- Jacob Riis
- Lewis Hine
- Walker Evans
Appropriation & Parafiction
Sherrie Levine, After Walker Evans, 1981
Edward Weston, Nude, 1925 → Sherrie Levine, Untitled, 1981 → Anne Collier, Veterans Day, 2011
The calendar in Anne Collier's work was produced in 1972
Collier use text as a form of institutional critique, using art-historical references appearing in “vernacular manifestations of photographic imagery” to point to the means of contemporary image circulation.
He was engaging stereotype from commercial culture, photograph of advertisement,: untitled(Mirror), untitled(Woman with compact), expensive watches, untitled(three man looking at the same direction),
He also makes collection of images which reveal the stereotype in the society.
Thomas Demand creates large-scale photographs that probe the relationship between reproduction and original. Trained as a sculptor, the German artist reconstructs media images of complex interior scenes using ephemeral materials like paper and cardboard. After photographing the painstakingly-crafted, life-sized models, Demand destroys them, leaving only photographic evidence of their fleeting existence. Demand's images often suggest recent activity, yet are eerily devoid of people, resembling the appearance of a film set or even a forensic photograph. Describing his practice of sculpture-based photography, Demand once said, "My work is in itself a ghost of my vision."
Lynda Benglis, Now
Now | Video Data Bank
Throughout Lynda Benglis' Now, she asks "Now?" and "Do you wish to direct me?" and repeats commands like "Start the camera" and "I said start recording."
Throughout the video, Benglis asks "Now?" and "Do you wish to direct me?" and repeats commands like "Start the camera" and "I said start recording." As in On Screen, she makes faces and sounds in reply to the images on a monitor; at one point she appears to kiss herself. The word "now", used as both question and command, focuses attention on the deceptive "real" time of video, and reveals the structure underlying her presence in the video. Her first color tape, Benglis experiments with the effect of unnatural color, turning up the levels until the colors are high and artificial — which diffuses the idea of video as an impartial or "direct" medium.
Self-published in Artform magazine, 1974