The blogs posted are written by the staff at PROGRAPHICA, all of whom are active participants in contemporary art. They are artists, have careers in gallery management, in academia or all three. The views expressed are those of the authors; all have diverse views.

We will be emphasizing the art of the Northwest. However, as we move around a bit, we will, from time to time, have posts from other cities.

Because we don’t want conflict-of-interest concerns, we will not have posts on exhibitions at PROGRAPHICA.

Graham Shutt Reviews “Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs” and “Photography and the Art of Chance”

Two books on photography were published in June which are worth
looking at: Sally Mann’s Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs
(Little, Brown and Company, 2015) and Robin Kelsey’s Photography and
the Art of Chance (Belknap-Harvard University Press, 2015).

Hold Still began its life as the 2011 Massey Lectures in American
Studies at Harvard University under the title If Memory Serves. The
title of the lecture series is significant because it underscores the
roles memory and narrative play in the subsequent work. Mann is a good
storyteller, and this alone makes her memoir engaging. But it is her
insights into the significance of place and into the legacy of slavery
in the South that I find most compelling. Having read Hold Still one
will return to Mann’s photographs with greater insight and with a
renewed sense of the urgent aesthetic and ethical issues they raise.

Robin Kelsey is a gifted historian of photography and American art,
whose subjects include nineteenth-century geographical survey
photography, landscape theory, and ecology and historical
interpretation. His latest monograph argues that photography, both as
a practice and as an art form, must be understood in the context of
nineteenth-century developments in the statistical sciences and in the
theories of geologic time and evolution — fields in which chance,
randomness, luck, and accident play a central role. Discussions of
William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, Alfred Stieglitz,
Frederick Sommer, and John Baldessari offer readers a compelling new
history of photography in the analog era.

— Graham R. Shutt


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