san-diego

Allan Sekula, Untitled Slide Sequence (detail), 1972/2011, three duplicate sets of twenty-five black-and-white 35-mm transparencies, projected at 13-second intervals; text panel. From “The Uses of Photography: Art, Politics, and the Reinvention of a Medium.”

“The Uses of Photography”

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego | Downtown

Allan Sekula, Untitled Slide Sequence (detail), 1972/2011, three duplicate sets of twenty-five black-and-white 35-mm transparencies, projected at 13-second intervals; text panel. From “The Uses of Photography: Art, Politics, and the Reinvention of a Medium.”

In three identical sets of twenty-five images, projected as slides in an endlessly repeated cycle, Allan Sekula’s Untitled Slide Sequence, 1972, depicts workers leaving the General Dynamics Convair Division aerospace factory in San Diego at the end of the day shift. Offering up the plenitude of information implicit in the American documentary tradition—a tradition that implies that by studying these records we might somehow come to know the workers and their individual stories—while at the same time withholding that gratification via the anonymity and homogeneity or homogeny of its subjects, it offers a form of political and social engagement that was missing from earlier documentary forms as well as from newly emerged Conceptual practices. Shown in the exhibition “The Uses of Photography: Art, Politics, and the Reinvention of a Medium,” organized by Jill Dawsey, MCASD’s

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