Contemporary Photography in France

Between Theory and Practice

Olga Smith (Author),

Series: Lieven Gevaert Series 32

Category: Art, Photography

Language: English

ISBN: 9789462703445

Publication date: October 21, 2022

€45.00 (including 6% VAT)

Buy Now

Number of pages: 230

Size: 230 x 170 x 14 mm

Number of illustrations: 46

Illustrations and other content description:
32 pp. full colour Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Stock item: 150594

Standard delivery time for print books:

For Belgium: 5 to 8 working days

For EU: 2 to 3 weeks

For other countries: 4 to 5 weeks

Series: Lieven Gevaert Series 32

Category: Art, Photography

Language: English

DOI: 10.11116/9789461664891

ISBN: 9789461664891

Publication date: October 21, 2022

€39.00 (including 6% VAT)

Buy Now

Easy access with the Glassboxx app

Number of pages: 230

Number of illustrations: 46

Illustrations and other content description:
32 pp. full colour Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

SHARE

An innovative study of contemporary photography in France
This compelling publication traces the broad arc of photography’s development in France from the 1970s to the present day. A decade-by-decade account reveals unexpected points of convergence between practices that are not usually considered in a comparative perspective. These include photographic practices in contemporary art, documentary, photojournalism, and fashion. Author Olga Smith sets these practices in dialogue with French philosophy – the writings of Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, and Jacques Rancière – to produce an innovative study of the intersections between the photographic image, text, practice, and theory. This analysis is guided by an understanding of photography as deeply engaged with historical, cultural, and intellectual events that defined French national experience in the contemporary period. Landscape provides a particular focus to study issues of key significance, including national identification, colonial past, legacies of modernization and environmental breakdown.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

List of Figures List of Plates Acknowledgements Introduction
Chapter 1. 1970s: Engagement and Subjectivity Roland Barthes and the Science of Subjectivity From The Family of Man to Families in France: Documentary and Professional Photography Mythologies of the Self: Photography in Artistic Practices
Chapter 2. 1980s: Objectivity in a Dematerialized World Jean Baudrillard: The Era of the Object A Quest for Legitimacy as Art Staged Photography and the Culture of Simulacra “The Form Tableau”: Photograph as Object and Picture
Chapter 3. 1990s–2000s: The Future of The Photographic Image Jacques Rancière: Photography as Milieu Forms of Resistance and Participation After Photography
Conclusion: The Landscapes of France
Landscape and the National Imaginary The DATAR Photographic Mission: Picturing “le territoire des Français” The Anthropogenic Landscape: The Environmental Perspective A Sense of Belonging: Territory, Borders, Identity Towards a Non-Nationalist History of Photography
Plates Bibliography Index

Olga Smith

Olga Smith is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Vienna.

At once erudite and engaging, Smith's book shows how
French photographic practices since the 1970s have been bound up with thought,
politics, history, and art. The book constitutes essential reading for anyone
wanting to understand French culture today.
Shirley Jordan, Newcastle University

Olga Smith’s book bridges the histories of philosophy
and photography in a compelling way. This rich and detailed study provides a
fascinating insight into French theory and art, yet it moves beyond the
national paradigm to open new perspectives in global media historiographies.
Concise in its argumentation and lucid in its style, this book will find readership
far beyond its specialist focus.
Steffen Siegel, Folkwang University

Olga Smith offers here a remarkable study of the French photographic scene of the last decades, which benefits from her in-depth knowledge of the historical context, theoretical debates and artistic practices. In a real tour de force, she succeeds in repatriating some of the key concepts of the so-called French Theory into their original cultural context, thus intervening in the ideological struggles between modernism and postmodernism. Books on photography in France in English language are rare. I've been waiting for this one for a long time.
Clément Chéroux, The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography, MoMA

Smith’s history of contemporary photography, both detailed and very readable, is a decidedly innovative publication, even for readers already familiar with the field and the critical debates that surround it. The major novelty of the book is, paradoxically speaking, the choice of a nonphotographic point of departure. [...] As (re)written by Smith, the recent history of French photography makes room for a wealth of images, excellently printed in a rich gallery of color plates, and a great variety of ways of doing photography criticism. One can only hope that this excellent overview will spark new interest in what is going on in France, both in terms of the production of new images and in terms of critical discourses on the role and place of photography in society.Jan Baetens, Leonardo Reviews Archive, January
2023

'Ce dialogue entre philosophie et photographie est la qualité première de ce livre pour qui connaît déjà un peu la scène française.'
Lunettes rouges, 31 janvier 2023, https://www.lemonde.fr/blog/lunettesrouges/2023/01/31/sur-la-photographie-poivert-et-smith/

This highly readable text, with its detailed coverage of cultural conditions and its survey of photographers, provides a valuable resource for curators, researchers, photographers, and students.
Jill Glessing, Ciel variable, no 123,2023, p. 101-102

Olga Smith uses contemporary photography in France - since the 1970s up until the present-day - to show, very persuasively, how philosophy and critical theory have dovetailed with creative practices. - Andy Stafford, Source: Issue 111, Summer, 2023, https://www.source.ie/archive/issue111/is111contents.php

Contemporary Photography in France. Between Theory and Practice constitutes an interesting and well-documented addition to the already rich body of critical work on the subject. It strives to analyze and describe numerous artistic practices that are esthetically diverse. Its intellectual scope is therefore broad and far-reaching. Finally, its numerous illustrations allow for an accurate visualization of the most recent developments of photography in France. - Pierre Taminiaux, H-France Review Vol. 23 (June 2023), No. 97, https://h-france.net/vol23reviews/vol23_no97_Taminiaux.pdf

L’ouvrage présente de nombreuses autres qualités. Parmi elles, le pari tenu consistant à panacher des noms d’artistes établis et moins connus, mais aussi d’inclure un plus grand nombre de femmes photographes. Ainsi l’histoire des agences et du photoreportage s’écrit également au féminin. - Marie Auger, 8 | 2024, 1 June 2024, DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/11r5m

Lectrice attentive des auteur·e·s français·e·s, Olga Smith fait preuve d’une bonne connaissance du contexte dans lequel sont produits les corpus de son étude ; ce qu’elle complète par des recherches personnelles. Sans prétendre à l’exhaustivité, son approche englobe la production de photographes majeur·e·s tout en étant attentive à la mention de noms émergents : Noémie Goudal, Léa Habourdin, Laura Henno, Constance Nouvel et Aurélie Pétrel. Cette publication complète la collection des Lieven Gevaert Series publiée par les Leuven University Press dont la qualité des choix éditoriaux mérite d’être saluée à cette occasion. - Nathalie Boulouch, Critique d’art, 01 juin 2024, DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/critiquedart.104781

Olga Smith’s enriching study traces the preoccupations that have shaped photography in France since the 1970s, as well as the medium’s shifting place and significance within the broader field of contemporary French culture. (...) Smith’s book is beautifully produced and illustrated, material qualities that reflect and complement its intellectual ones. - Edward Welch, French Studies, Volume 78, Issue 1, January 2024, Pages 182–183, https://doi.org/10.1093/fs/knad193

In this insightful, lucidly written and lavishly illustrated book, Olga Smith fills an important gapin studies of photography by cataloguing an impressive array of work produced in France overthe last 50 years. While French scholars like Raphaële Bertho, Claude Nori and Michel Poivert, among others, have assessed the post-war development of key genres that have helped define contemporary photography from France, from photojournalism and fashion photography to la photographie plasticienne and landscape, French photography has been comparativelyneglected by academics outside of France. Smith’s book, what we might consider a new history of contemporary French photography, aims to rectify this professional blind spot. It does so in a very convincing way. - Blatt, A. J., Modern & Contemporary France, 32(1), 167–168. https://doi.org/10.1080/09639489.2023.2248030

Related titles