Photography and Ontology: Unsettling Images, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Photography and Ontology

Unsettling Images, 1st Edition

Edited by Donna West Brett, Natalya Lusty


204 pages | 47 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780815374299
pub: 2018-09-10
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This edited collection explores the complex ways in which photography is used and interpreted: as a record of evidence, as a form of communication, as a means of social and political provocation, as a mode of surveillance, as a narrative of the self, and as an art form. What makes photographic images unsettling and how do the re-uses and interpretations of photographic images unsettle the self-evident reality of the visual field? Taking up these themes, this book examines the role of photography as a revelatory medium underscored by its complex association with history, memory, experience and identity.

Table of Contents


(Natalya Lusty and Donna West Brett)

1. Ontology or Metaphor?

(Andrés Mario Zervigón)

2. Unsettling the Archive: The Stasi, Photography and Escape from the GDR

(Donna West Brett)

3. Dark Archive: The Afterlife of Forensic Photographs

(Katherine Biber)

4. Hard Looks: Faces, Bodies, Lives in Early Sydney Police Portrait Photography

(Peter Doyle)

5. Anticipatory Photographs: Sarah Pickering and An-My Lê

(Shawn Michelle Smith)

6. Eli Lotar’s Para-urban Visions

(Natalya Lusty)

7. The Presence of Video: Making the Displaced and Disappeared Self Visible

(John Di Stefano)

8. Contemplating Life: Rinko Kawauchi’s Autobiography of Seeing

(Jane Simon)

9. Suspending Productive Time: some photographs by Gabriel Orozco and Jacques Rancière’s thinking of modern aesthetics.

(Toni Ross)

10. Photography as Indexical Data: Hans Eijkelboom and Pattern Recognition Algorithms

(Daniel Palmer)

11. Afterword: Photography Against Ontology

(Blake Stimson)

About the Editors

Donna West Brett is a lecturer in art history at the University of Sydney.

Natalya Lusty is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney.

About the Series

Routledge History of Photography

This new series will publish research monographs and edited collections focusing on the history and theory of photography. These original, scholarly books may take an art historical, visual studies, or material studies approach. Interdisciplinary books are encouraged.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Criticism & Theory
ART / History / General
ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
ART / History / Contemporary (1945-)
ART / Art & Politics
PHILOSOPHY / Aesthetics