Photography after Postmodernism : Barthes, Stieglitz and the Art of Memory book cover
1st Edition

Photography after Postmodernism
Barthes, Stieglitz and the Art of Memory

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 21, 2022
ISBN 9781845115029
July 21, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In life after postmodernism our conception of photography is not the same as before. Photography After Postmodernism starts with this conception and explores what changes have affected photography, its relation to social life and our image-centred culture.

Engaging with the visual environment and issues that have emerged in the postmodern world, David Bate introduces fresh approaches and analysis of photographs and their place within the aftermath of postmodernist thought. The book shows how photographs circulate in an 'image-world' beyond their art or media origins that deeply affect our sense of time and relation to memory. The role of archives, dreams, memories and time are deployed to develop and resituate arguments about photography made by Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida to further engage and understand our contemporary condition. By considering how ‘afterwardness’ is invoked in the developments of modern and contemporary photography, Bate demonstrates the complex ways in which photographic images resonate across public and private spaces, while carrying a slippage of meaning that is never quite fixed, yet always contingent and social. The approach shows how modernist photography was already invested in values that its discourse could not enunciate, which resonates with much contemporary photography today.

Featuring a range of historical and contemporary images, the book offers detailed and innovative readings of specific photographs which open new avenues of thought for those studying and researching visual culture and photography.

Table of Contents


1 After Postmodernism

2 Roland Barthes and Camera Lucida

3 Return of the Tableau

4 The Lactation of Meaning

5 Stieglitz: The Migration of Meaning

6 Archival Dream

7 Photographic Episteme

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David Bate is Professor of Photography at the University of Westminster, London, UK. His many writings on photography, theory, art and culture are extensively published. His first book was the highly-acclaimed Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent (2004); and the widely translated Photography: Key Concepts (2019) continues to be an essential introductory book for photography students. Also a practicing artist, his photographic projects have been shown in Australia, China, Europe, South Korea, North America and the UK.