Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Book Reviews

One of the good things about this course is/was that it has encouraged me to read books about photography that are more than ‘how to’ books. I started back at the beginning of the course with Charlotte Cotton’s ‘The Photograph as Contemporary Art’. As I acknowledged at the time I was ill equipped to make much in the way of intelligent commentary as so much of the discussion was well outside more normal sphere of discussion.
So in the interim I’ve tackled a couple of books which I hope will help me address that weakness. I’ve concentrated on a threesome from the reading list:
  • Liz Wells: Introduction to Critical Photography
  • Roland Barthes: Camera Lucida; and,
  • Susan Sontag: On Photography.
For a bit of context I’ve also dipped into How to Survive Modern Art by Susie Hodge as I thought it would be helpful to have a bit of a view of the wider artistic context in which photography has developed since the beginning of the 20th century. Not sure that is true at present, but I imagine it will pay dividends later.
Anyway, as I’m drawing to the end of this course (my final assignment is due by mid-December) I thought I’d start to tie up some loose ends to help me put together a reflective summary of the whole thing. Among those loose ends is a short series of reviews covering what I believe I’ve extracted from the above books. I’ll be uploading them as separate posts, starting with the Liz Wells book.

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