Collection

Allan Sekula 'Waiting for Tear Gas', 1999-2000

Waiting for Tear Gas

Fecha:
1999-2000
Tipo obra:
Still image projection
Material:
Slide projection and autoadhesive vinyl
Medidas:
Dimensions variables
Número Ejemplar:
Procedencia:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Registre núm:
1924

"How do we invent our lives out of a limited range of possibilities, and how are our lives invented for us by those in power?" As I have already suggested, if these questions are asked only within the institutional boundaries of elite culture, only within the "art world," then the answers will be merely academic. Given a certain poverty of means, this art aims toward a wider audience, and toward considerations of concrete social transformation.

[…] A political critique of the documentary genre is sorely needed. Socially conscious American artists have much to learn from both the successes and the mistakes, compromises and collaborations of their Progressive Era and the New Deal predecessors. How do we assess the close historical partnership of documentary artists and social democrats? How do we assess the relation between form and politics in the work of the more progressive Worker's Film and Photo League? How do we avoid a kind of aestheticized political nostalgia in viewing the work of the 1930s? And how about the co-optation of the documentary style by corporate capitalism (notably the oil companies and the television networks) in the late 1940s? How do we disentangle ourselves from the authoritarian and bureaucratic aspects of the genre, from its implicit positivism? (All of this is evidenced in any one second of an Edward R. Murrow or a Walter Cronkite telecasts.) How do we produce an art that elicits dialogue rather than uncritical, pseudo-political affirmation?

[…] The most intimate, human-scale relationship to suffer mystification in all this is the specific social engagement that results in the image: the negotiation between photographer and subject in the making of a portrait, the seduction, coercion, collaboration, or rip off. But if we widen the angle of our view, we find that the broader institutional politics of elite and "popular" culture are also being obscured in the romance of the photographer as artist.

Allan Sekula, 2000

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Photogallery

  • Allan Sekula 'Waiting for Tear Gas', 1999
  • Allan Sekula 'Waiting for Tear Gas', 1999
  • Allan Sekula 'Waiting for Tear Gas', 1999

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