Photography and Germany

Andrés Mario Zervigón

Photography and Germany

Andrés Mario Zervigón

Distributed for Reaktion Books

224 pages | 55 color plates, 60 halftones | 7 1/2 x 8 2/3
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781780237480 Published June 2017 For sale in North and South America only
The idea of photography in Germany evokes everything from the pioneering modernist pictures of the Weimar era to the colossal digital prints that define art photography today. But it also recalls horrifying documents of wartime atrocities and the relentless surveillance of East German citizens. Photography and Germany broadens these perceptions by examining the medium’s multi-faceted relationship with Germany’s turbulent cultural, political, and social history while rethinking the notion of German photography with fresh insights on its historical context.
           
Andrés Mario Zervigón covers this history from the region’s pre-photographic experiments with light-sensitive chemicals to today’s tension between analog and digital technologies. Rather than simply providing a survey of German photography, however, he focuses on how the medium, as a product of the modern age, has intervened in a fraught project of national imagining, often to productive ends but sometimes to catastrophic results. Richly illustrated with numerous previously unpublished images, Photography and Germany is the first single-authored history of photography in Germany ever published, one that deepens our broader understanding of how photography cultivates notions of a nation and its inhabitants.
 
Review Quotes
Geoffrey Batchen, author of Burning with Desire: Conception of Photography
“Delicately navigating the complex history of Germany, a nation state invented in the same century as photography, Andrés Mario Zervigón shows how photographic images have both buttressed and fissured that state ever since. Addressing vernacular and artistic photographs with equal aplomb, Zervigón offers a welcome overview of German photography that will be essential reading for anyone interested in this topic.”
 
Steffen Siegel | Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen
“Through a powerful interpretation of outstanding examples, Andrés Mario Zervigón provides an exciting narrative of Germany’s troubled encounter with modernity. A brilliantly written survey which is both an indispensable introduction into the history of German photography and a significant contribution to our understanding of the manifold relationship between the medium and the German society.”
Andreas Huyssen, Columbia University, and author of Miniature Metropolis: Literature in an Age of Photography and Film | Columbia University
“Photography can be an agent of memory and history, giving shape to conflictual understandings of national identity. Photography AND Germany persuasively juxtaposes the fractured history of modern Germany and the multi-layered evolution of German photography in politics and the arts, the public and the private sphere. An eminently readable book and a model analysis of the rise and the effects of a visual medium once it had begun to saturate everyday life.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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