Disappearing Witness

Recently read Gretchen Garner’s Disappearing Witness: Change in Twentieth-Century American Photography. Decent if selective history of the mainstream movements in American photography in the twentieth century. Nothing revelatory, but all the major names present and correct. Her focus is on the transition of the art from one of ‘spontaneous witness’, to late-twentieth century postmodernism. Would have been more interesting (to me), if she’d also dug a bit deeper to explore the corners of photography where ‘spontaneous’ witness is still alive and well, if transformed — war photography, perhaps, and of course ‘street’ work.

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