Nikons and Icons
Is the aestheticization-of-suffering critique still valid?
David Levi Strauss
Photography and the Traffic in Pain
University Of Chicago Press
$25.00 List Price
There was a time, at the end of the 1980s, when the critique of documentary photography based on the “aestheticization of suffering” was so influential that it became virtually impossible to defend documentary practice. Any such defense was regarded as at best naive and at worst ideologically suspect.
Then came 9/11. I have argued elsewhere that the attack on the Twin Towers, the most photographed event in history,