photography Thought for the Week

TFTW #5: Bolton on photography’s contradictions

TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire…

It seems that wherever we look in photography, we find contradictory impulses and opposing aims. The wide range of photographic applications [from police surveillance to liberal documentary] raises the possibility that photography has no governing characteristics at all save adaptability. Certain practices preserve the status quo and others strive to overthrow it; it is possible to find in the medium contributions to both the domination and the liberation of social life.

Richard Bolton, “Introduction: The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography,” in The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, edited by Richard Bolton (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1992), p. xi.

Thumbnail photo: Webtreats/Flickr

2 replies on “TFTW #5: Bolton on photography’s contradictions”

I think its more a way of saying photography has no singular identity as such, so it depends on a range of other factors for its meaning and effectiveness.

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