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This study examines the politics of photographic criticism, history and practice. It is a revisionist approach to the history of photography, a critique of photographic modernism and the institutions promoting it, and a feminist exploration of the camera's role in producing (and reproducing) dominant social and sexual ideology. Considering the role of cultural institutions - art historians, collectors, and dealers in construction histories of photography - Solomon-Godeau critiques such institutionalized aesthetics while offering an implied counter-history of the medium. She considers also the place of photography within post-modernism, tracing its evolution from a critical practice to a stylistic option. Lastly, Solomon-Godeau examines the work of a feminist photographer who seeks to counter the sexual politics that photography normally confirms. This, in turn, includes themes concerning the massive production of photographic erotica and pornography that are taken up and considered in relation to contemporary feminist theory and art practice.
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Solomon-Godeau is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Linda Nochlin is a leading art historian and the author of several books, including The Body in Pieces: The Fragment as a Metaphor of Modernity, The Politics of Vision: Essays on 19th Century Art and Society, Women, Art and Power, and Realism.
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