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Reinventing Documentary Photography in the 1970s


From: Thursday, March 23, 2017, 05:00pm

To: Thursday, March 23, 2017, 08:00pm

Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Friday, March 24, 2017   9:30am - 5:30pm
Zimmerli Art Museum
Rutgers University

Organized by Sarah Miller and Drew Sawyer, in collaboration with the Zimmerli Museum and the Developing Room, this interdisciplinary symposium seeks to question standard narratives around the reemergence of documentary photography during that tumultuous decade. It brings together a range of international art historians and curators, who have rarely had to opportunity to exchange research and ideas on this topic. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center for Cultural Analysis and the Office of the Dean of Humanities (Rutgers).In the United States, scholarship on documentary during the long 1970s has tended to focus on two poles: the curatorial practices of John Szarkowski at The Museum of Modern Art and those artists that he supported, and Allan Sekula’s and Martha Rosler’s strident critiques of modernism’s embrace of the genre. Taking Jorge Ribalta’s recent exhibition, Not Yet. On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernism, at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid as a launching point, the symposium will widen the conversation to explore the multiple ways that documentary was rethought and contested in the 1970s, in both critical discourse and artistic practice. This symposium will bring together art historians and curators from Europe, who have been rewriting these histories over the past several years, with emerging and established art historians in the United States, who are only just beginning to look into these diverse practices. The symposium aims to propel new scholarship on these artistic practices and the critical discourses they generated, and provide a broader context for American histories of documentary during the period.

For a full schedule of papers and more information, please visit


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Events sponsored by the Center for Cultural Analysis are free and open to the public, unless specifically noted