Una 'polemic recurrent': John Thompson, William James Stillman i els enllustradors de sabates

Edwards, Stephen (2012). Una 'polemic recurrent': John Thompson, William James Stillman i els enllustradors de sabates. In: Ribalta, Jorge ed. Per Què La Fotografia Es Avui Més Important Com A Document Que Mai. Barcelona: The Private Space Books, pp. 71–103.

URL: http://www.theprivatespacebcn.com/libro/per-que-la...


An essay translated into Catalan originally presented at a conference in Tarragona, Spain. An English version will appear late in 2013.

Based around a study of the classic street photography of John Thompson, published a Street Life In Photography (1877) and the contemporaneous debate about photography that took place in the journal The Photographic News, this essay proposes a new account of photography.

Thompson, and others how worked in a similar mode, have been seen as exercising a vision of power that displays the poor for the attention of the state and middle-class reformers. In contrast, I suggest that Thompson's images are much more ambivalent about the figures depicted. Thompson's book is drawn to street life and he finds his own enterprise implicated in these trades. Through an analysis of WJ Stillman's writings and photographs in Street Life in London, I consider the agency that speaks back in these photographs.

This essay is a product of extensive archival research on nineteenth-century photographic debate and conjoined this historical research with critical approaches (here drawing on Jacques Ranciere's philosophy of equality, to propose a novel approach to photographic history.

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