Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Yes, but if you read his 'The Conscience of a Conservative' you soon see that he's a long way from the current cartoon conservative, i.e. he's not a brain-dead redneck born-again Christian warmonger.

I'm not saying the cartoon variety is the only sort of conservative there is, because Goldwater himself illustrates perfectly that this is not so. I'm just suggesting that the cartoon variety has been on the ascendant lately.

Surely there must have been a few good Nazi photographers: not Leni, please, because I really believe that she was naive rather than a committed Nazi (and indeed few Nazis apart from Hitler himself appear to have been able to stand her -- an unusually persuasive illustration of the Fuehrerprinzip, perhaps). I do recall seeing other clichéd but still arresting Nazi pictures, though. And of course on the other side of the fence there were quite a few good Communist photographers such as Aleksandr Rodchenko.

And what about Argentina? The percentage of good photographers from the Argentine has been disproportionately high, but I know little about their political sympathies.


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).