By the mid-1930s, the literary works of the aging Russian naturalist author Mikhail Prishvin abounded in the Soviet press, from children’s books to literary journals. But despite a long list of publications, the author has been relegated to a secondary position in the Soviet literary canon. It has only been with the recent publication of his vast and detailed diaries that Prishvin’s authorial persona has sparked growing scholarship and interest. And it was not until December 2015 that viewers were able to see the first exhibition of his equally meticulous and remarkable photographs.
A daguerreotype, a picture made with the world’s first practical photographic technology, can’t survive the experience of being looked at unless it is framed under glass. Removed from the frame, the ephemeral image can be wiped off its metal backing as easily as a blackboard is erased. But the crystal that protects a daguerreotype is really an emblem of the barrier between
When the photography exhibit Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960-1975 began its tour of Europe and the United States in January of 2016, its relevance to the contemporary moment was unclear.
In 1876, Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin and the founder of eugenics, reported to the Anthropological Institute of London his newest physiognomic method for uncovering and defining human "types." Galton’s composite portraiture was an exercise in re-photography that co-opted the mechanical precision of the photograph for a pseudoscience of predetermined sociological and biological categories.