BOOKS & TEXT REFERENCES

Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen

The older paradigm for photojournalists was to simply record events, with the hopeand frequently the expectationthat people and their governments would be moved to respond to the injustices pictured; as witnessed by the impact of certain images during the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. Given evolving media and political climates, however, including the billions of images now available online from all kinds of sources, the purpose and effectiveness of media, in particular of visual journalism, has been called into question. Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and Citzenship, by author and critic Fred Ritchin, addresses the new and emerging potentials for visual media to impact society. Ritchin examines the historical and contemporary uses of photography and related media to inspire social change. From the unintended consequences of citizen journalism and leaked images such as those from Abu Ghraib, to the new strategies by visual journalists and the targeted human rights projects by documentary photographers, the intention of this book is to provide a much-needed critical approach to the issues involved in such efforts. Also encompassing online efforts, uses of video, and a diverse range of books and exhibitions, Bending the Frame aims for as wide-ranging and farreaching a discussion as possible, asking the critical question: how can images promote new thinking and make a difference in the world?

After Photography

One of our most influential commentators on photography investigates the future of visual media as the digital revolution transforms images, changing the way we conceptualize the world. From photos of news events taken on cell phones to the widespread use of image surveillance, digital media has fundamentally altered the way we receive visual information. Simultaneously, the increased manipulation of photographs has made photography suspect as reliable documentation, raising questions about its role in recounting personal and public histories. In a world beset by critical problems and ambiguous boundaries, Ritchin argues that it is time to begin energetically exploring possibilities created by technological innovations, and to use them to better understand our rapidly changing world.

MI MADRE. Tahar Ben Jelloun

«Durante los últimos meses de su vida, mi madre fue perdiendo su memoria, recayó en su infancia. Convertida de golpe en una niña pequeña, después en una joven recién casada, mi madre empezó a hablar, a confesar, invocando a (los) vivos y (los) muertos. El amor filial, fuerte y apasionado, se ve a veces envuelto en el pudor y los sobrentendidos. Al revelar su pasado, mi madre se liberó de una vida en la que casi nunca fue feliz. Durante largos días la escuché, siguiendo como podía el hilo de sus incoherencias; sufrí y al mismo tiempo la descubrí.

Este relato fue escrito a partir de los retazos de recuerdos que ella me confió. Fragmentos que me permitieron de reconstruir su vida en el viejo Fez de los años treinta y cuarenta, de imaginar sus momentos de alegría, de adivinar sus frustraciones. Tuve que leer entre líneas o incluso traducir sus silencios, y casi siempre restituir sus emociones.

THE VIRTUAL WINDOW. ANNE FRIEDBER

As we spend more and more of our time staring at the screens of movies, televisions, computers, and handheld devices–«windows» full of moving images, texts, and icons–how the world is framed has become as important as what is in the frame. In The Virtual Window, Anne Friedberg examines the window as metaphor, as architectural component, and as an opening to the dematerialized reality we see on the screen.In De pictura (1435), Leon Battista Alberti famously instructed painters to consider the frame of the painting as an open window. Taking Alberti’s metaphor as her starting point, Friedberg tracks shifts in the perspectival paradigm as she gives us histories of the architectural window, developments in glass and transparency, and the emerging apparatuses of photography, cinema, television, and digital imaging. Single-point perspective–Alberti’s metaphorical window–has long been challenged by modern painting, modern architecture, and moving-image technologies. And yet, notes Friedberg, for most of the twentieth century the dominant form of the moving image was a single image in a single frame. The fractured modernism exemplified by cubist painting, for example, remained largely confined to experimental, avant-garde work. On the computer screen, however, where multiple «windows» coexist and overlap, perspective may have met its end.In this wide-ranging book, Friedberg considers such topics as the framed view of the camera obscura, Le Corbusier’s mandates for the architectural window, Eisenstein’s opinions on the shape of the movie screen, and the multiple images and nested windows commonly displayed on screens today. The Virtual Window proposes a new logic of visuality, framed and virtual: an architecture not only of space but of time.