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Dark Mirrors

Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa

Mack Books

Publication date : 2021/10/01
14 x 22.8 cm / 240 pages
ISBN 9781913620394

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“Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa’s brilliant book offers a radical understanding of the presence of race and its structuring effect on the photographic imaginary and space … The book calls its readers to play an active role at the intersection between the making of photographic images and their public life.”
Ariella Aïsha Azoulay

“Wolukau-Wanambwa looks as carefully at the work of image makers as he does at the places, communities, cultures and economies they inhabit … These are essays to live with, and to re-read.”
David Campany

“Free, radical and sometimes brutal, the verdict proposed by Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa is irrevocable.”
1000 Words

“[Wolukau-Wanambwa] connects [his] questioning with pressing political, social and ecological concerns that constitute the world’s ongoing state of crisis.”
L’Oeil de la Photographie

“If there’s anything that unites [these essays] it’s an interest in the shifting ways images shape contemporary dialectics—especially around race—and how artists observe, probe, and unpack that process.”

Dark Mirrors assembles sixteen essays by photographer and critic Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa focusing on contemporary fine art photographic and video practices that are principally, though not exclusively, rooted in the United States, written between 2015 and 2021. Wolukau-Wanambwa analyses the image’s relationship to the urgent and complex questions that define our era, through the lens of artistic practices and works which insightfully engage with the ongoing contemporaneity of disparate histories and the ever-changing status of the visual in social life.

The book sets out an argument that one of the most dynamic sites of artistic invention in photographic practice over the past decade has been the photographic book, and thus many of the essays in the volume assess artistic works as they are bodied forth in that form. Among the recurrent themes that emerge from these rigorous, probing essays are the complex interrelationship of anti-blackness and visuality, the fragility and complexity of embodied difference in portraiture, the potency of verbal and visual media as social forms, and the politics of attention.

With essays on Deana Lawson, Dana Lixenberg, Paul Pfeiffer, Arthur Jafa, Katy Grannan, and Robert Bergman among others.

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