Contemporary Art Photography's Social and Documentary Turn
Photography was invented to document the world around us; Henry Fox Talbot considered the tool an indexical reflection that he called “the pencil of nature.” After the 1950s, the documentary tradition saw a revolution with a renewed interest in stylized street photography, social portraiture, and perspectives on the man-altered landscape. As photography has embedded itself as a major player in both contemporary art history and the art market since the 1990s, we will explore the documentary gaze that has emerged from this evolution. Kelsey Halliday Johnson is a curator, artist, and writer based in Philadelphia, PA; she is a member of the collective Vox Populi and is currently the Curatorial Fellow in Photography & New Media, Michener Art Museum. Previously, she held positions at Locks Gallery, Vox Populi, the Penn Museum, and Blind Spot magazine.