Five versions of the photographic act

Archival logic in the work of Andrea Robbins and Max Becher

Authored by: Shep Steiner

The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138845770
eBook ISBN: 9781315727998
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter focuses on the logic structuring the photographic corpus of New York-based photographers Andrea Robbins and Max Becher. With special emphasis on the modernist notion of the photographic act or trigger event, the author argues that, in their hands, the medium of photography should itself be understood as a reproduction and dissemination of such acts. With the paradigmatic click of the shutter showcased as the primary event, the author teases out four other versions of the act: two retrospective acts keyed to the encounter with photography in the gallery or book and two underwriting the act proper.

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