Photograph - a strange confined space.

By: Price, Mary.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: 1994; Stanford Univ. Pr. ISBN: 0804723087.Subject(s): PhotographyDDC classification: 770.1PRI
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Book 770.1 PRI (Browse shelf) Available 072897
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

<p>This richly evocative study of photography has two major emphases, that the language of description (be it title, caption, or text) is deeply implicated in how a viewer looks at photographs, and that the use of a photograph determines its meaning.</p>

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

In this serious, densely textured meditation on photography (which is a study of meanings, value, and discourse as well), Price writes jargon-free prose full of wit, insight, and grace. Besides discussing photographs in their various settings, she studies the use of photographs in literary works by such writers as Proust, Lowell, Barthes, and Musil. Her method is to take off from statements by a wide range of philosophers in order to develop her own arguments regarding photography and how one talks about it, how one finds "a vocabulary of interpretation." She states her twin themes at the start as follows: "The language of description is deeply implicated in how a viewer looks at photographs," and "The use of a photograph determines its meaning." Price maintains that "photographs without our appropriate descriptive words are deprived and weakened," and she illuminates her "idea of the photograph" by enlarging on metaphors such as "mask," "language," and "aura," the last a concept introduced by Walter Benjamin, one of the book's guiding figures. We learn much about the early practitioners and techniques of photography. (Price's analysis of Julia Margaret Cameron, whose work she studies alongside a painting by Rembrandt, is worth the price of the book.) And as an aesthetician, Price is interested in such questions as moral value (she disagrees with Sontag's condemnation of photography), authenticity, and how the mechanical aspects of the art condition the way we approach it. Graduate; faculty; professional. B. Wallenstein; City College, CUNY