Recent decades have seen photography's privileged relationship to the real come under question. Spurred by the postmodern critique of photography in the 1980s and the rise of digital technologies soon thereafter, scholars have been asking who and what built this understanding of the medium in the first place.
Photography and Doubt reflects on this interest in photography's referential power by discussing it in rigorously historical terms. How was the understanding of photographic realism cultivated in the first place? What do cases of staged and manipulated photography reveal about that realism's hold on audiences across the medium's history? Have doubts about photography's testimonial power stimulated as much knowledge as its realism?
Edited by Sabine T. Kriebel and Andres Mario Zervigon, Photography and Doubt is the first multi-authored collection specifically designed to explore these questions. Its 13 original essays, illustrated with 73 color images, explore cases when the link between the photographic image and its referent was placed under stress, and when photography was as attuned to its myth-making capabilities as to its claims to authenticity.
Photography and Doubt will serve as a valuable resource for students and scholars in art history, visual and media studies, philosophy, and the history of science and technology.
Sabine T. Kriebel teaches at the University College Cork, Republic of Ireland, where she has taught modern art and photography since 2004. Kriebel is author of Revolutionary Beauty: The Radical Photomontages of John Heartfield (2014) and has published widely on photography and photography theory, photomontage, and mass-circulation magazines. Andres Mario Zervigon is Associate Professor in the Art History Department at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He is author of John Heartfield and the Agitated Image: Photography, Persuasion, and the Rise of Avant-Garde Photomontage (2012) and coeditor of Photography and Its Origins (with Sheehan, 2015).
Contents List of figures About the contributors Introduction Sabine T. Kriebel and Andres Mario Zervigon Prelude Three or Four Kinds of Indeterminacy in the Photograph Douglas R. Nickel Part I Between Facticity and Fiction 1 No Room for Doubt? Daguerre and his First Critics Steffen Siegel 2 Blowing Up the World: On the Evidentiary Cultures of Enlargement, ca, 1893-1917 Jordan Bear 3 A Magician Among the Spirit Photographs: Reflections on Houdini's Doubt Louis Kaplan Part II Instabilities of the Medium 4 Reaching Beyond the Index: The Publication of News Photographs Thierry Gervais 5 The Camera Work of the PM Sketch Report Jason E. Hill 6 Robert Capa and the Turn to Forensics Vincent Lavoie Part III From Aporia to Anomie: Photography Deconstructed 7 Moholy's Doubt Susan Laxton 8 Max Ernst: Graceful Photographer Adrian Sudhalter 9 Atomisation, Anomie and Farewell to Photography Sarah Kelleher Part IV Indeterminacy 10 Controlling Doubt: Abstract Painting and Photography John J. Curley 11 Clouded Judgment: Conceptual Art, Photography and the Discourse of Doubt Heather Diack 12 Methodological Position for Second Degree Art History Robert Slifkin Selected Bibliography Index