Alfred Stieglitz: Camera Work by Pam Roberts, Alfred Stieglitz

By Pam Roberts, Alfred Stieglitz

A facsimile replica of 559 unique illustrations initially released within the 50 versions of the magazine "Camera Work". The journal used to be based and released via Alfred Stieglitz and supplied a discussion board for American photographers' paintings in addition to an advent to the eu avant-garde.

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It is still present, but is now discernible in the diverse ways in which image-makers are in dialogue with different pictorial genres. Few genres are unique to the medium (street photography may be the only one), so working generically will inevitably mean connecting with painting, cinema, theatre and literature. For example, in their gestures and enactments, the photographs of Philip-Lorca diCorcia or Jeff Wall or Hannah Starkey forge hybrid visual tableaux from a range of sources. Their references are rarely explicit, rather the images draw from a storehouse of popular imagery from the past and present.

4 To “stand up to all those stories but not be like them” challenged Frank to subvert and interrogate Life magazine’s consensus-driven manifesto, which stated its role was “To see life; to see the world; to witness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things—machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon” (quoted in Tallack 1991: 18). The passivity implied by Life’s “see/witness/watch” is interrogated by Frank’s ambiguous, destabilised, “moving” photography engaging the viewer in a sustained dialogical process rather than transmitting an inert ready-made story with its pre-packaged values and assumptions—what John Tagg calls “pictorial commoditisation” (Tagg 1988: 14).

Deleuze 1994: 180, 187–8) Through all this movement between photography and film, Frank and Wenders have staked out a new territory for the imaginative, emancipated spectator to enter, a space providing both original and provocative meditations on contemporary America—to adapt a phrase from Wenders, less a “logic of images” but rather a persistent and engaging dialogic of images: 49 And I want to keep them closed. (Wenders 2001: 130) Notes 1 Unfortunately, it has proved impossible to gain permissions to use any of Robert Frank’s images in this chapter, however, many of them are available online or in the many collections of his work.

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