PRINT February 1983


THE BLATANTLY MECHANISTIC CONDITION bound to photographic seeing has confounded photographic discourse. One-way thinking has stratified this moonlighting medium ever since its invention, zoning it into polemic ghettos walled off by hegemonies and hierarchies. The conceptual astigmatisms have only been aggravated since the further challenge, the tease of color, was introduced, offering still pictures a transition as momentous as sound did moving ones.

William Eggleston’s pictorial vocabulary—edited bits from his local world—has been described as commonplace. Some have taken this to mean pictures that any of us might be likely and able to click. Giving form and its consequence—meaning—to visible data that in life we take for granted and forget to observe, or experience, seems too invisible a project for magic-seekers. The fact is that Eggleston’s invention is to cut from the vernacular leaving

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