Revisiting Martha Rosler's seminal critique of documentary photography in the 1981 text "In, Around, and Afterthoughts on Documentary Photography," this panel explores the viability of documentary practices today, both within the contemporary art realm and in the larger context of visual culture. In the 1981 text, Rosler claimed that documentary photography has yet to be realized in its full potential. Moving from a direct critique of documentary photographic practices, many contemporary photographers are utilizing art strategies to initiate and maintain social and political engagement through the use of the photographic medium. This discussion aims to examine photography's ability to foster social change today.
Moderator: Susan Bright, curator and author of Art Photography Now Participants: Chris Verene, photographer; Michael Wolf, photographer; and LaToya Ruby Frazier, photographer and filmmaker.
The Aperture Foundation, publisher of Aperture magazine, is a not-for-profit institution dedicated to the support and advancement of photography as a fine art. In collaboration with the photography program in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, Confounding Expectations is generously supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Henry Nias Foundation, the ASMP Fund, and the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation. The lecture series has been hosted by The New School since 2001.