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Allan Sekula

Noël Burch and Allan Sekula, The Forgotten Space, 2010, digital video, color and black-and-white, sound, 110 minutes. Photo: Doc Eye Films.

A TRUE UNDERSTANDING of the tragic early loss of Allan Sekula may emerge only slowly in American culture, but it will steadily expand beyond the relatively limited circles in which his work has until now been recognized. He will be celebrated as an artist, first of all, and as a photographer and one of the most important critics, historians, and theoreticians of photography of the final decades of the twentieth century. (His 1986 essay “The Body and the Archive” is on par with Siegfried Kracauer’s foundational “Die Photographie,” which, although written nearly sixty years earlier in a profoundly different cultural context, was crucial to Sekula’s formation.) Then, he will be lauded as a filmmaker, for his extraordinary 2010 documentary The Forgotten Space, perhaps his greatest accomplishment, conceived and produced in collaboration with Noël Burch; lastly—and perhaps most

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