Abigail Solomon-Godeau

  • Eugène Atget

    Atget’s photographs of Paris—what he modestly termed his “documents”—have entered the canon of twentieth-century photography. Rather than argue his already established legitimacy, this exhibition provides a perspective on Atget through the sensibility of a collector and a photographer, both of whom loved and conserved his work. The 120 photographs are from the collection of Julian Levy, known for his pioneering art gallery (established 1931). Many of these pictures, taken between 1890 and 1926, were printed in the ’30s by Berenice Abbott, who rescued

  • Abigail Solomon-Godeau

    You can photograph anything now.

    —Robert Frank1

    When Susan Sontag wrote about photography, photographers, or image culture in its broadest sense, even those with no special interest in these topics took notice. One of her accomplishments as a public intellectual was to make photography—understood as a phenomenon rather than a specific technology—a subject worthy of serious critical attention. “It all started with one essay,” she wrote in the opening pages of On Photography (1977), “about some of the problems, aesthetic and moral, posed by the omnipresence of photographed images; but


    Critic, activist, novelist, filmmaker, Susan Sontag exceeded even that elastic and amorphous category of “public intellectual” so often linked to her name. To mark Sontag’s passing last December at the age of seventy-one, Artforum asked ARTHUR C. DANTO, HAL FOSTER, ABIGAIL SOLOMON-GODEAU, and WAYNE KOESTENBAUM to reflect on her achievements and legacy, which challenge us to reconsider the role of the critic today.

  • President George W. Bush aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 2003. Photo: AP/Tyler J. Clements.

    Abigail Solomon-Godeau on the image wars

    LIKE A MINIATURE GUILLOTINE, a camera shutter slices an image from the world into which it may or may not be subsequently launched. But if it is launched—printed, transmitted, broadcast, or reproduced—it may function as an event in its own right. This has occurred over the past several months, as issues of representation have themselves become a topic in the mass media—nowhere more evident than in recent cases of censorship, whether self- or officially imposed. On February 1, Janet Jackson’s ornamented nipple was digitally effaced in news broadcasts after its initial exposure during the Super