Author(s): Allan Sekula
Long out of print, this seminal collection of essays and photographs is by artist, theorist and filmmaker Allan Sekula. Originally published by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1984, this book significantly altered the way in which the function of documentary photography was conceptualised. In these essays and images, Sekula sought to portray the inextricable bond between labor and material culture, drawing deeply on Marxist theory to argue passionately for a collective model of progress. Sekula taught at the California Institute of Arts (CalArts) from 1985 until his death in 2013, and from that insider’s position he critiqued photography and the circumstances of its production and consumption, exposing what the medium failed to represent – women, labourers, minorities – and the institutional structures that reinforce cultural biases.