What Photography Is

1st Edition

James Elkins

Routledge
Published April 26, 2011
Reference - 226 Pages
ISBN 9780415995696 - CAT# Y100366

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Summary

In What Photography Is, James Elkins examines the strange and alluring power of photography in the same provocative and evocative manner as he explored oil painting in his best-selling What Painting Is. In the course of an extended imaginary dialogue with Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida, Elkins argues that photography is also about meaninglessness--its apparently endless capacity to show us things that we do not want or need to see--and also about pain, because extremely powerful images can sear permanently into our consciousness. Extensively illustrated with a surprising range of images, the book demonstrates that what makes photography uniquely powerful is its ability to express the difficulty--physical, psychological, emotional, and aesthetic--of the act of seeing.

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