Picturing The Past

Aug 7 2012 @ 8:47pm

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by Matthew Sitman

Jeremy Harding uses the publication of Magnum Contact Sheets, a collection that reveals how photographers worked before the advent of digital cameras, to meditate on the meaning of the art:

So much of what photography has to say about appearance, it turns out, is really about disappearance: cultures and places changed beyond recognition, lives long gone, and the old arts of the analogue camera and the darkroom with them. Both subject and practice take on a lyrical, heritage quality as they’re superseded or extinguished. In his piece about the end of the Kodachrome colour slide (LRB, 3 February 2011) Julian Stallabrass pointed out that nine of the images produced by the American photographer Steve McCurry – another Magnum member – when he petitioned to shoot the last roll of Kodachrome in 2010 were of a vanishing nomadic tribe in Rajasthan…