Title: [PDF] Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images Unlimited, Author: mwmxbstgm, Name: [PDF] Criticizing. to understanding images pdf. this brief text is designed to help both beginning criticizing photographs an introduction pdf criticism of islam has existed since its. Criticizing Photographs An Introduction To Understanding Images Terry. Barrett composed by tvnovellas.info Study Group is offered in word, pdf, ppt, txt, zip.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Barrett. Terry Michael. Criticizing photographs: an introduction to understanding images. / Terry Barrett. File:Barrett Criticizing Photographs 3ed pdf Barrett_Criticizing_Photographs_3ed_pdf (file size: MB, MIME type. Criticizing Photographs the Complete Book - Ebook download as Word Doc .doc /.docx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online.
Tshetrim Dorji 1 Literary criticism is an independent field of study which justifies the literary work systematically. It examines the excellences and defects of a literary work and finally evaluate its artistic worth. Throughout the history, many critics has evaluated immense work of literature and interpreted the master works to give its taste. But the concept has been defined differently by various intellectuals and possess a unique nature, and has a specific functions to play. Thus the criticism is looking at a piece of art from another side, may appear much less beneficent and beautiful, whereby revealing its beauty.
I read most of these images carefully. I read the photographic projects — i. Being Serious John Berger often says that, above all else, he is a storyteller. This work privileges stories — as constituent elements in critical theorising and writing. Here is one. Some years ago, when I was teaching critical and cultural theory to photography students at the University of Glamorgan, I had a conversation with David Hurn, the Magnum photographer.
I have also taken more than a hundred thousand photographs — mostly, portraits of subjects, from varied social and cultural backgrounds, in available light. In addition to seeking to develop my own creative practice, I have also spent a great deal of time working with photographers — as well as with painters, sculptors and other creative artists.
Most of those who have achieved international recognition in photographic criticism — certainly, in the English-speaking world — are literary theorists, literary critics, art critics or cultural theorists. He has a profound understanding of the technical and experiential dimensions of drawing and painting he continues to draw and is also knowledgeable about the production and postproduction of photographic images. Collaborative Practice How should the critical intellectual speak?
The form this takes is often the short essay or some other concise, sharp, memorable intervention — such as the interview. The writing in the pieces that follows is influenced by his example. To produce serious work, the scholar works alone — carefully, quietly, methodically — at the desk, in the archives, on the computer. That is what I, like generations of others, learned as a university student. Throughout his professional life, Berger has demonstrated a profound commitment to working in partnership — specifically, to collaboration with artists.
He collaborated wiith colleagues working in a number of artforms. Please remember all I said about it on the phone. Or even we can begin again. All I would stand by is the essential idea about ownership and its reverse function with the advent of consumer society.
Outside the industry I was entirely unknown at the time, whereas John was already a big name in the arts, and had taken voluntary exile in Europe after his first novel, A Painter of our Time, was published in It was the beginning of more than half a century of working together… From the outset my relationship with John was perfectly balanced.
One of the first questions I asked him regarded the rudimentary matter of earnings, specifically copyright. That is how we started and that is how we continued as collaborators. The subject position occupied by Berger, the engaged public intellectual, could not be more different from the traditional, omniscient Critic and Theorist working in solitude. The collaborative creative projects in which I have taken part have considerable affinities with the four books done jointly by Berger and Mohr — especially, A Seventh Man, which is about migrant labour in Europe.
Perhaps this grounding has something to do with our shared respect for creative practice — and perhaps also for our shared commitment to writing as a practice of rigorour, eloquence and style. Both John Berger and Jean Mohr have commented on the relationship between photographs and writing in books of images and text.
The work is intended to signify serious engagement with the arts — with visual art and, to a lesser degree, music. The overall layout mirrors that of a musical composition, as much as a traditional academic book. Some of them are quite short — from an academic point of view. In each of the essays, there are images. A Marxist? Berger began his career as an art critic and public intellectual writing regularly, from to , for The New Statesman, the British weekly leftist magazine focusing on politics and culture.
He wrote about contemporary developments in the visual arts, which often included defense of realist art and commentary on matters of politics and ideology. This is very different from the approach of Marx — and, I will suggest, Berger and me. Marx makes an important distinction between method of inquiry and method of presentation — in his introduction to the Grundrisse and his afterword to the second German edition of Capital Marx and Marx These are two distinct, integral parts of the research process.
It is well known that Marx spent years researching and thinking about how capitalism works — analysing in detail its development, its concrete forms, the interconnections between its parts. He produces substantial texts, including the multi-volume Theories of Surplus Value and the Grundrisse, as part of this process.
For Berger, this includes producing multiple drafts of texts. He also employs various media and artforms, learns to speak the language of multiple audiences artists, academics, the general public and thinks carefully about the layout of images and text in his books.
It is clear that Berger is concerned with producing texts that are eloquent and accessible. And that he thinks about how the viewer may be affected not only by the content of the text the ideas, the argument , but also by the form.
This, I wish to suggest, is one of the important lessons that one can learn from reading and watching Berger. Like Berger, I am trying to produce texts that work against established conventions — but are nonetheless accessible and engaging.
Overview Jean Mohr, John Berger, [details] The composition that is this book has six parts — in addition to this Prelude and the Coda at the end. Part I begins, not with questions of Theory but with practice — photographic, curatorial and critical-intellectual practice.
Part IV looks at photography in relation to questions of memory and loss. The subject matter of Part V is mortality, death and the photograph. Part VI is about photography and intellectual work as radical, counter-hegemonic practice. Part I. The chapter suggests that, despite the difficulties, one of the benefits of intellectuals working in this way is that our subjectivities — our largely non-conscious, ideologically-positioned ways of seeing, feeling and being in the world — have been transformed.
Chapter 5 raises the question of how the critical intellectual might engage, productively, with the art establishment. Especially in his early years, John Berger, the radical critic who was often redbaited , had an antagonistic relation with leading figures and institutions in the British artworld.
This chapter, reflecting on the example of Stuart Hall in England and my own experience with the art establishment in Wales, poses the question of whether another option is possible — whether there are spaces, inside the belly of the beast, from which the radical art critic or cultural theorist can productively work. I suggest that finding such spaces are important if the role of the critical intellectual is not simply to critique hegemonic ways of thinking and doing but also to mentor artists — e.
So, too, is the work of a number of the photographers whose contributions Berger discusses in various places. As will become apparent, my own photographic portraiture also has affinities with this philosophical and creative stance.
I draw some comparisons between his photographic projects and my collaborative work with the Welsh photographer Andrew McNeill. The reader is invited to reflect on practices that go beyond the use of descriptive captions — that employ more extensive modes of writing, including life stories.
Part II. That is, I pose the question of whether, with regard to photographs, it makes sense to speak of a Bergeresque mode of investigation — and mode of presentation.
Yet it is most important to understand that, for him, the primary concern is with social uses of photographs — with their private and public uses. The pieces in Part II look at photographs from these various perspectives — suggesting that each of them has both value and limits.
The former employs tools from semiotics to describe and interpret photographs of homeless people taken under a bridge in Cardiff by Andrew McNeill. In Part II, I also consider the poststructuralist conception of subject positioning. My view is that can be a useful tool in a Bergeresque approach — although, to my knowledge, Berger does not discuss this concept in any of his writings, interviews or media programmes.
Berger did not join them. Part III. Consisting of thirteen essays of varying lengths, this section explores a theme that has been closely associated with Berger since , when Ways of Seeing was broadcast as a BBC television series and published as a book.
That theme is representation — the production and circulation of meaning, emotion and modes of subjectivity through, in our case, encounters with visual imagery, especially photographs see Hall We also consider a related theme — namely, visual imagery as a site of contestation and struggle, e.
A central concern of Ways of Seeing is representation of women — especially ways of seeing and stereotyping produced in and through oil painting and advertisement.
This section includes essays exploring photographic representation of racial division, immigrants, minorities and refugees — including, with some help from Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall, Guy Debord and Susan Sontag, questions of surveillance, stereotyping and the Other as spectacle. Many of the images in these essays are photographs that work to contest structures and practices of inequality and oppression.
One essay explores the thorny issue of the aesthecisation of suffering — of representing horrific situations with beautiful, alluring images. In some of his creative production that came after Ways of Seeing, including fiction and film, Berger takes up the question of how who lack the cultural power to represent themselves — peasants, migrant workers, refugees, Others — have been and might be represented. Part IV.
This section explores visual imagery — primarily, photographs — in relation to matters of memory and loss, absence and longing, subjectivity and trauma. The memory in question is both individual and collective, as is the subjectivity. Part V. That theme is mortality, death and the dead. With help from Elaine Scarry , this essay returns us to the question of whether there are aspects of human experience that lie at the limits of what can be portrayed through image or words.
Similarly, because his magazine is national and devotes comparatively little space to art, Peter Plagens of Newswee k covers museum shows, almost ex clusively, but tries to write about as many museum shows of contemporary art as possible.
Many critics have editorial independence about what they cover.
There are many artists every week whom I do like and whom I feel I can't say anything about. However, because Time is a newsmagazine and needs to be timely, the exhibitions must still be showing when his arti cle runs and, because the magazine is distributed internationally, he writes many of his reviews of shows out side New York City.
When critics write for different publications, they are writing for different audiences. Their choices of what to write about and their appr oaches to their chosen or assigned topics vary according to which publication they are writing for and whom they imagine their readers to be. A review of an exhibition written for the daily newspaper of a small midwestern city will likely differ in tone and content fr om a review written for the Sunday New York Times because the readers are different.
The Times has national as well as regional distribution, and its readers are better informed about the arts than are average newspaper readers; a critic writing for the Times can assume knowledge that a critic writing for a regional newspaper cannot.
In doing exploratory aesthetic criticism, a critic delays judgments of value and attempts rather to ascertain an object 's aesthetic aspects as completely as possible, to ensure that readers will experience all that can be seen in a work of art. This kind of criticism relies heavily on descriptive and interpretive thought. Its aim is to sustain aesthetic experience. In doing argumentative aesthetic criticism, after sufficient interpretive analysis has been done, critics estimate the work's positive aspects or lack of them and give a full account of their judgments based on explicitly stated criteria and standards.
The critics argue in favor of their judgments and atte mpt to persuade others that the object is best considered in the way they have interpreted and judged it, and they are prepared to defend their conclusions.
Ingrid Sischy, editor and writer, has written criticism that exemplifies both the exploratory and argumentative types. In a catalogue essay accompanying the nude photographs made by Lee Friedlander ,19 Sischy pleasantly meanders in and thr ough the photographs and the photographer's thoughts, carefully exploring both and her reactions to them.
W e know, in the reading, that she appr oves of Friedlander and his nudes and why, but more centrally , we experience the photographs thr ough the descriptive and interpretive thoughts of a careful and committed observer.
Andy Grundberg, a former photography critic for the New York Times, perceives two basic appr oaches to photography criticism: the applied and the theoretical. Applied criticism is pract ical, immediate, and directed at the work; theoretical criti cism is more philosophical, attempts to define photography, and uses photographs only as examples to clar ify its arguments.
Applied criticism 21 tends toward journal ism; theoretical criticism tends toward aesthetics. Examples of applied criticism are reviews of shows, such as those written by A.
Coleman also writes theoretical criticism as in his "Directorial Mode" article. Other examples of theoretical criticism are the writings of Allan Sekula , such as his essay "The Invention of Photographic Meaning," in which he explores how photographs mean and how photography signifies. He is interested in al l of photography, in photographs as kinds of pictures, and refers to specific pho tographs and individual photographers only to support his br oadly theoretical argu ments.
In her writing about photography, Abigail Solomon-Godeau draws fr om cultural theory, feminism, and the history of art 6 and photography to examine ideologies surrounding making, exhibiting, and writing about photographs. Her writing is often criticism about criticism. Later in this book we will explore in detail theories of art and photography, theoretical criticis m, and how theory influences both criticism and photography.
Grundberg also identifies another type of criticism as "connoisseurship," which he rejects as severely limited. The connoisseur, of wine or photographs, asks "Is this good or bad? This kind of criticism, which is often used in casual speech and so metimes found in pro fessional writing, is extremely limited in scope because the judgments it yields are usually proclaimed without supporting reasons or the benefit of explicit criteria, and thus they are neither very informative nor useful.
Statements based on taste are simply too idiosyncratic to be worth disputing. As Grundberg adds, "Criticism 's task is to make arguments, not pronounce ments. Critics come to criticism from varied backgrounds. Many art critics have advanced degrees in art history and support themselves by teaching art history as they write criticism. Several come from studio art backgrounds. Some critics are also exhibit ing artists, such as Peter Plagens, who is a painter and a critic for Newswee k, and Barbara Kruger, who exhibits photographic art and writes criticism.
Rene Ricard is a poet and art critic; Carrie Rickey writes film criticism for the popular press and art criticism for the art press. Michael Kim melman, chief art critic for the New York Times, studied art history as a graduate student but wrote music criticism for a daily newspaper in Atlanta, then for the Philadelphia Inquirer, U.
At the Times he started writing about art as well as music and became chief art critic in Robert Hughes, art critic for Time magazine since , is Aus tralian and a Je suit-trained, ex-architecture student, ex-painter, ex-political car toonist.
He also writes essays for the New York Review of Books and the New Republic, has produced an eight-part television series on modernism, The Shock of the New, and is the author of several books on art. Coleman became a full-t ime, freelance critic of photography in Since he has written for a variety of publications including Artforum and currently is photography critic for the weekly New York Observer.
He also provides commentary for National Public Radio 's "Performance Today" and writes criticism for various publications such as Photo Metro, published in San Francisco. Coleman is not a photographer and was never formally schooled in photography; prior to writing about photography, 7 he wrote theater criticism for the Village Voice. He began writing about photography because he was "excited by photographs, curious about the medium , and fascinated -even frightened-by its impact on our culture.
In he published a collection of his recent essays about issues of contemporary international photography 22 under the title Critical Focus. Before she began writing photography criticism, Abigail Solomon- Godeau was a photo editor with an undergraduate degree in art history, and she had her own busi ness of providing pictures for magazines, textbook publishers, educational film strips, and advertisers. She eventually became bored with her work and also became aware that she was part of what culture critics were deriding as the "c onsciousness industry " About that she says: "Here was an enterprise that was literally producing a certain reality that people, or students, or whoever, wouldn't question because it was perceived as real because it was photographed.
She earned her Ph. While teaching, she has written for publications as diverse as Vogue, Afterimage, and October and has 24 published a collection of her essays in Photography at the Dock. Grace Glueck believes that to become educated the critic needs to look at as much art as possible and at "anything that deals with form including architecture, movies, dance, theater, even street furniture.
Abigail Solomon-Godeau views her chosen critical agenda as one of asking questions: "Primarily, all critical practices -literary or artistic- should probably be about asking questions. That's what I do in my teaching, and it 's what I attempt to do in my writing.
Of course, there are certain instances in which you can say with cer tainty, 'this is what 's going on here,' or 'this is nonsense, mystification or falsifica tion. Once you've had the encounter, you can try to figure out 8 how to explain it, and there are many ways to take off-through sociology; history, theory, standard criticism, or description.
He is arguing for an independent, skeptical criticism and for critics who are independent of artists and the museums and galleries that sponsor those artists. Coleman argues that because criticism is a public activity, the crit ics writing should be available to interested readers, and that the artwork which is criticized should also be open to public scrutiny.
This would presumably preclude a critic 's visiting an artis t's studio and writing about that work, because that work is only pr ivately available. Coleman distinguishes between curators and historians who write about art, and critics. Coleman cautions that the writer, historian, curator, or critic who befriends the artist by sponsoring his or her work will have a difficult time being skeptical.
He is quick to point out, however, that skepticism is not en mity or hos tility. Coleman 's goal is one of constructive, affir mative criticis m, and he adds: "The greatest abuses of a 29 critic's role stem fro m the hunger for power and the need to be liked. She terms her art writing "advocacy criticism. Instead, she wants a criticism that takes a polit ical stand. She seeks out and promotes "the unheard voices, the unseen images, or the unconsidered people. Lippard chooses to work in partnership with socially oppositional artists to get their work seen and their voices heard.
Lippard also rejects as a false dichotomy the notion that there should be distance between critics and artists. She says that her ideas about art have consistently emerged from contact with artists and their studios rather than from galleries and magazines.
She acknowledges that the lines between advocacy, pro motion, and pro paganda are thin, but she rejects critical objectivity and neutrality as false myths and thinks her approach is more honest than that of critics who claim to be re moved from special interests. And they each have different answers: Coleman advocates a skeptical dis tance between critic and artist, and Lippard a partnership between them. Critics take various positions between these two polar positions. Peter Schjeldahl says that "intima te friendships between artists and critics, as such, are tragicomic.
The critic may seek revelation from the artist, who may seek authentication from the critic. Neither has any such prize to give, if each is any good. A critic who never relates to artists, fea ring 32 conta mination, is a virgin. Neither knows a thing about love. He thinks "it 's prob ably a bad idea to know artists too well, to accept works of art or to know dealers too well. I don't see myself as 10 being a translator of the artist 's intentions to the public.
That is a matter between artists and their materials, artists and their colleagues, artists and their audiences. Criticism comes later. When it tries to impose itself on the process, it usually ends by corrupting art while making itself looks insipid or foolish. The New Art Examiner ; for example, declares in bold type in its reviewers gu idelines: "Under no circumstances are manuscripts to be shared with outsiders the artist, dealer, sponsor, etc.
These policies are instituted to avoid damage to a publication's and a writer's credibility. There aren't easy answers to questions of the ethics of criticism or to deciding personal or editorial policy.
The question is less d ifficul t, however, i f we realize that critics write for readers other than the artist whose work they are considering.
Crit ics do not write criticism for the one painter or photographer who is exhibiting; they write for a public. Grace Glueck thinks that, at best, the critic gives the artist an idea of how his or her work is being perceived or misperceived by the publ ic.
The relation between the critic and the artist also becomes less clear when we realize that criticism is much more than the judging of art.
This point is easily for gotten because in art studios, in schools, and in classrooms of photography, criti cism is often, unfortunately, understo od solely as judgment. The primary purpose of school criticism is usually seen very narrowly as the improvement of art making; little time is spent in describing student work, 37 interpreting it, or in examining assumptions about what art is or is not. Thus we tend to think that published pro fessional criticism is judgment and, more specifically, judgment for the artist and the improvement of art making.
This conception of professional criticism is far from accurate. Quite the contrary.
Critics frequently take issue with one another's ideas. Art critic Hilton Kramer has dismissed Lucy Lippard 's writing as "straight out political propa ganda.
Allan Sekula 's writing is so suspicious of photography that it has been called "al most paranoid" and has been likened to a history of 11 women written by a 39 misogynist. These conflicting views contribute to an ongoing, interesting, and informative dialogue about criticism and photographs that enlivens the reading of criticism as well as the viewing of photographs.
In his foreword to their writings, he calls them "master art critics" and provides some reasons for his positive appraisal of their criticism.