The article analyses the relationship between artist and theoretician Martha Rosler’s exhibition project The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems (1974–75) and her two essays, “In, Around, and Afterthoughts (On Documentary Photography),” from 1981, and “Notes on Quotes,” from 1982. In part, it also refers to another Rosler’s essay, “Post-Documentary, Post-Photography?” (2001). All of these works represent in one way or another a relentless critique of documentary photography and modernist photography while dissociating itself from artistic and critical practices of postmodernism. The article contemplates the currency of Rosler’s critique in the light of the possible contemporary escapes from the crisis of documentary in general, and takes a closer look into the critique of participatory photography (or participatory documentary) as a current practice of documentary photography.
This post is also available in: Slo