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Allan Sekula

Born, 1951 in Eire, USA

From the archived Documenta 11 website: www.documenta12.de//archiv/d11/data/english/index.html

“Since the 1970s, Allan Sekula has dealt with the historic conflict facing the medium of photography since its creation: between photography as a document of social realities and that of an aesthetically autonomous, artistic medium. Conceptual models of arrangement and presentation accompany his photographic production, as does a comprehensive production of texts on the historic problems of (documentary) photography. Since the 1980s, Sekula’s photographic practice has in ever more extensive cycles sought to answer how a contemporary ‘iconography of labor’ could look like in times of globalism. Harbours - as the loading stations of a worldwide traffic of goods - form the motifs of Sekula’s monumental photo series Fish Story (1990 - 1995). Consisting of 105 color photographs, 26 text panels, and two slide projections, it documents the working conditions of the maritime proletariat. Sekula creates a metaphor for the continuation of the mythical trade routes that from Columbus to the container have mapped modern capitalism. Documenting the materiality of labor that in a proclaimed ‘postindustrial’ society has been rendered invisible, while presenting its depiction as always already fragmented, Sekula engages the viewer who has to translate the images into pieces of reality.”

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»  Documenta Halle

Kassel, Germany