Apocalyptic Sublime: On the Brighton Photo-Biennial

Edwards, Steve (2009). Apocalyptic Sublime: On the Brighton Photo-Biennial. Historical Materialism, 17(2) pp. 84–102.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/156920609X436135

Abstract

Based on an account of the Brighton Photo-Biennial 'Memory of Fire: The War of Images and Images of War', curated by Julian Sallabrass in late 2008, this essay considers the photographic coverage of the recent imperialist interventions in the Middle East. Taking its cue from Stallabrass's event, it reflects on the decline of documentary and photojournalism since the Vietnam War and the current attenuated politics of the media. It argues that the problem of the sublime extends beyond the current genre of 'aftermath'-photography and asks what might constitutre a more cognitively adequate politics of the image.

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