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From Publishers Weekly
In her recent book Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag concludes that an aesthetic reaction is part of the viewer's experience of even shots of extreme pain or violence. Written more than 10 years ago, the lead piece of these 18 essays on photography weighs in on aestheticization and also finds that, even in "social documentary" photographs, "aestheticization" is one of the ways that disparate peoples recognize themselves in one another." Yet despite the similar subject matter and terminology, poet and critic Levi Strauss carves out unique and convincing critical terrain in this follow-up to Between Dog and Wolf, his previous collection of critical meditations. Most of these pieces were written during the '90s and published as review essays on the work of Ania Bien, Miguel Rio Branco, Alfredo Jaar, Joel-Peter Witkin, Francesca Woodman and others; also included are an interview with painter Leon Golub (who works from photographs) and an introduction from critical eminence John Berger. "Photography and Propaganda," a study of the work and deaths in '80s Central America of photojournalists Richard Cross and John Hoagland, should be required reading in the age of embeddedness, and "Photography and Belief" is a terrific meditation on truth in the age of digital manipulation, which leads to an investigation of why many people thought images of September 11 "looked like a movie." Thoughtful and firm, these reflections seem more vital than ever.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
David Levi Strauss is a writer and critic in New York, where his essays and reviews appear regularly in Artforum and Aperture. His collection of essays on art and politics are Between Dog and Wolf and Broken Wings: The Legacy of Landmines.
Persuasive and Poetic Writing On Photography and Photographers
In Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography, David Levi Strauss tackles subjects ranging from "Photography and Propaganda" to the imagery of dreams; from Sebastipo Salgado's epic social documents to the deeply personal photographic revelations of Francesca Woodman. The timely issue of photographic legitimacy is addressed in the essay "Photography and Belief," and in "The Highest Degree of Illusion," Strauss discusses the media frenzy surrounding the events of September 11th.
These essays have been published in a broad range of magazines, including Aperture, Artforum, and The Nation. David Levi Strauss is a writer whose visual and intellectual sensibilities are both acute and encompassing. His previous publications include Between Dog and Wolf: Essays on Art and Politics and Broken Wings: The Legacy of Landmines (a collaboration with photographer Bobby Neel Adams). The collection of essays in Between the Eyes reveals that Strauss's thinking on photography is provocative, lively, and relevant.