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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Allan Sekula, RIP

Poet of the precarious material bodies and borders that give the lie to the neoliberal narrative of frictionless flows of information and capital.

1 comment:

Timothy Smith-Smith said...

Alan Sekula was an excellent teacher who made a big difference in my intellectual life. He taught a course on the history of photography at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, in 1976 or 1977. He gave the students copies of his article "On the Invention of Photographic Meaning," which had been published in Artforum magazine in 1975. Everything in that article was new and exciting to me. I have been influenced by it ever since – not that I became a photographic activist, but that I developed a set of frameworks for being aware of and thinking about meanings politically, not just aesthetically.

The mid- to late-70s was a good time to be at Orange Coast College. In addition to Alan, the faculty included Martha Rosler, with whom I studied black-and-white art photography, and Arthur Taussig, who taught the basics of photography as well as color art photography. The school library had an extensive collection of photographic monographs, which to me was really surprising for a "community college."

I am grateful to Alan for what he taught me and for what he went on to do.

Timothy O'Sullivan