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  1. #31
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    Thanks Roger, good thoughts. I'm in the middle of writing a short essay on war photography and some of the paradoxes outlined in Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others (caution: ugly images) and evaluating it in the light of the sorts of cognitive-evolutionary analysis done by researchers such as Marc Hauser at Harvard.

    Basically, I think that Sontag over-interprets the failures and frustrations of war photography in its apparent inability to halt war altogether. Researchers like Hauser et al, while not studying photography directly, reveal the crucial connection for human morality (which functions at a low level with strong universality, regardless of culture) and the importance of seeing people. Sight, and by extension photography, is (to my delight) a strong moralizing, humanizing force - far stronger than words.

    Conservative/liberal left/right politics aside, I personally cannot think of many (any?) visual artists of any merit who are pro-war, even in the presence of great direct threat (Goya and Picasso come to mind as artists who were clearly threatened but whose images did not advocate violence against their self-declared enemies).
    Just a thought - I don't know any photographers who are or were actively pro-war, but there are vast differences in attitudes to soldiers and soldiering. Consider if you will David Douglas Duncan (a former Marine combat photographer), who I find is much more sympathetic to military personnel in contrast to, say, the virtually neutral approach of Larry Burrows, or Don McCullin with his very hard-edged approach, or Philip Jones-Griffiths with his out-and-out anti-American polemic. One thing is for sure - I very much doubt if you will obtain much enlightment from Susan Sontag!

  2. #32

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    The reaction of Charis and Edward to the Goldwater brand of "not our brother's keeper" Western Republicansm was a VERY negative response. Apparently they had to bite their tongues a lot. (Charis, of course, was eventually married to a California Union Organizer.)
    My favorite story about Goldwater was when asked about what he and his wife did in retirement, he said, "We just sit on the front porch a lot, looking at the sunset, and hum Hail to the Chiel."
    As a photographer, Goldwater was at least as good as most of those professional landscapers who contributed to "Arizona Highways."

  3. #33
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell View Post
    As a photographer, Goldwater was at least as good as most of those professional landscapers who contributed to "Arizona Highways."
    I certainly agree with that Bill.

    Perhaps his association with Weston/Adams et al started by his patronage of them. Nothing is said about this that I have found, but Goldwater did have the financial means to by their art in those early days, which would coincide with the Great Depression to a degree.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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