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Allan Sekula (1951–2013)

Artist Allan Sekula has passed away. While Sekula’s practice began in the 1970s with performances and installations among other media, he eventually became best known for a photographic oeuvre that investigated the politics of globalization and capitalism. The historical and critical texts he produced as part of his photographic work—starting with Aerospace Folktales in 1973—“shifted the terms on which the medium is understood and influenced a generation of artists and scholars,” in the words of Edward Dimendberg in Bomb. As a film and video artist, Sekula also often collaborated with theorist Noël Burch, making projects ranging including The Reagan Tapes (1984) and The Forgotten Space (2010). Sekula was a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, and the NEA. His work has been featured in solo shows at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Kunsthaus Graz in Austria, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and his films have been screened at Tate Modern and New York’s Museum of Modern Art among other venues. Sekula also taught at California Institute of the Arts in the photography and media department. Last year, the College Art Association recognized him with the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art, for his publication of volumes including Photography against the Grain: Essays and Photo Works 1973–83 (1984) and Performance under Working Conditions (2003).