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A. D. Coleman: Selected Writings and New Publications

this issue's essays I new publications I other texts I online elsewhere


In this issue:
  • "Creature Features," my introduction to the 2008 George Malave monograph Creatures. (PDF format.)

  • "Jerry Uelsmann: Prima Facie," my introduction to the catalogue accompanying Uelsmann's ongoing show at See+ Art Space / Gallery in Beijing. This text will appear again in the catalogue of a retrospective forthcoming soon from the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, FL. (PDF format.)

(Each issue of C: the Speed of Light includes the complete texts of between one and four essays that will remain available so long as that issue is posted as current. Thereafter those texts move to the Photography Criticism CyberArchive, a subscription-based archive.)

New publications:

  • "Jerry Uelsmann: Prima Facie," in Jerry Uelsmann: Prima Facie, published by the See+ Art Space/Gallery (Beijing) in October 2008. This is the catalogue for Uelsmann's show at this gallery.

  • "Maggie Taylor: Circumstantial Evidence," in Maggie Taylor: Circumstantial Evidence, published by the See+ Art Space/Gallery (Beijing) in October 2008. This is the catalogue for Taylor's show at this gallery.

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Other texts in the C archive:

Remarks delivered at a dinner honoring Duane Michals as recipient of the 2000 Master Series Award sponsored by the Visual Arts Foundation and presented by the School of Visual Arts at the National Arts Club in New York City on October 25, 2000. (PDF format.)

"2020 Vision: Photojournalism's Next Two Decades," the keynote address to the World Press Photo Awards Days 2000 in Amsterdam. (PDF format.)

  • "Interoffice Memos from the Bicycle Factory: Reconsidering the Work of M. Richard Kirstel," an unpublished essay on the late Richard Kirstel, which served as the wall text for a 1990 solo show of his work in Baltimore. (PDF format.)

  • "What Makes One Photographic Print Worth USD $2.9 Million?" — an essay that appeared (in Chinese) in the Shenzhen Economic Daily on January 29, 2007, in response to an article on collecting photography that had appeared in those pages a month earlier. (PDF format.)

  • "Ben Shahn: A Painter's Photographs." An essay recently published in the premiere issue of Photography (China), based on a talk given in Kaunas, Lithuania, in fall 2004. (PDF format.) (From Issue 30, January-February 2007.)

  • "Creating Experiences in an Educational Environment," one of two talks I gave at the Photo Imaging Education Association (PIEA) national conference in Australia last spring. A consideration of the state of photo education in the U.S. (PDF format.) (From Issue 30, January-February 2007.)

  • The text of a tribute to Arnold Newman delivered at the National Arts Club in New York on May 18, 2006, just a few weeks before the great portraitist's death on June 6. (PDF format.) (From Issue 28, September-October 2006.)

  • Letter to the American Political Science Association (APSA) concerning that organization's peculiar claim that Richard H. Solomon -- recipient of the APSA's 2005 Hubert H. Humphrey Award, current President of the U.S. Institute of Peace, former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, former member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former head of the Political Science Department at the RAND Corporation -- is a "crack photographer." (PDF download.) (From Issue 26, January-February 2006.)

  • A second letter to the American Political Science Association (APSA) concerning that organization's peculiar but persistent claim that Richard H. Solomon -- recipient of the APSA's 2005 Hubert H. Humphrey Award, current President of the U.S. Institute of Peace, former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, former member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former head of the Political Science Department at the RAND Corporation -- is a "crack photographer." See earlier letter, below. (PDF format.) (From Issue 28, September-October 2006.)

  • The exhibition brochure — including my text, "John Patrick Naughton: VAVAlesque" — for the exhibition "VAVALESQUE: The Revival of the Art of Burlesque," a solo show by John Patrick Naughton of his documentation of the neo-burlesque movement, held March 31, 2005-August 28, 2005 at the Staten Island Institute of Arts & Sciences ion New York City.

  • On September 28, 2002, I received the Kulturpreis der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie (the Culture Award of the German Photographic Society) for 2002. Here's the text of my acceptance speech. (From Issue 19, January-February 2003.)

  • "'There Is No Not Art': Some Thoughts on Art in Public and Art in Public," (PDF download) a meditation on found/chance art written as an accompaniment to the late Larence Shustak's CD-ROM project, an absolutely indiscriminate, idiosyncratic survey of what he calls "Art in Public" from the South Island of New Zealand in the 1990s. Presented in memory of Larry. (From Issue 17, March-May 2002.)

  • "The Perils of Pluralism" (PDF download) is a short version of a much longer text, a lecture. This compressed version was edited as an introduction to the fund-raising portfolio for Detroit Focus, the excellent photo festival that made its debut in the Motor City in October-November 2000. (From Issue 14, September-October 2001.)

  • On the evening of Tuesday, November 16, 1999, I delivered a lecture-cum-performance, "The Message in a Bottle is the Medium is the Message: or, On the Beach with Robert Heinecken in Y2K," as part of the program celebrating Robert Heinecken's retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. (From Issue 13, June-August 2000.)

  • On Saturday, October 10, 1998, I delivered the keynote address, "Welcome to the International Image Community," for the symposium held to celebrate the opening of the Long Island Center of Photography. (From Issue 12, January-February 1999.)

  • Correspondence from Colleen Thornton and Omar Willey over my commentary on the posthumous Diane Arbus Untitled project, plus my response to Willey.

  • At the end of October 1997, I resigned my column at the New York Observer. My reasons for this are detailed in my letter to Brian Kempner, President of the Observer. (From Issue 8, November/December 1997.)

  • The complete text of "Do It Yourself: Towards a Responsible Audience," the "Founders' Lecture" given at Boston University on the night of October 9, 1996, as part of the Photographic Resource Center's 20th Anniversary Celebration. (From Issue 8, November/December 1997.)

  • "On 'Fair Use' and 'Censorship': A Dissenting Opinion" -- my rebuttal of critic Max Kozloff's rationale for cavalierly reproducing three of Richard Avedon's copyrighted images without permission in a collection of his own critical essays. (From Issue 7, August-October 1997.)

  • Here's the text of my acceptance speech delivered on the occasion of receiving the International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Writing on Photography in 1995, for Critical Focus. (From Issue 5, May/June 1996.)

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    Elsewhere online:

  • You'll find the most extensive online repository for my work in the Photography Criticism CyberArchive, the deepest online collection of writing about photography by many authors. This site is subscription-based.

  • At his own website, a free PDF download of Vanilla Sex: Explicit Fine Art Photographs, Michael Rosen's 2007 book, with my introduction thereto, "Vanilla Is as Vanilla Does: The Sexual Art of Michael Rosen."

  • At the website of Beijing's new See+ Art Space/Gallery, the text of my curatorial essay for the gallery's May-June preesentation of "Saga," Arno Rafael Minkkinen's retrospective, "'In the Silver Wildernesses': Arno Rafael Minkkinen's Walkabout," in both English (use previous link) and Chinese (click here).

  • A lengthy interview with me, "A. D. Coleman: A Conversation with the Critic," conducted in March 2006 by Suzie Katz, appears at the PhotoWings website in print form and also as an audiofile.

  • At the website of the Journal of Contemporary Art, my Dec. 2, 1990 interview with Joan Fontcuberta, the Spanish photographer, curator, historian, and educator.

  • In the free pdf download of Photography and Research in Austria: Vienna, the Door to the European East, the complete proceedings of the European Society for the History of Photography's 2001 symposium organized in Vienna by the indefatigable Anna Auer, you'll find my contribution to the symposium: "After Critical Mass, What? A State-of-the-Craft Report on Photography Criticism."

  • "Porn in the U.S.A" (their title, not mine), an August 1987 letter to the editor of The Nation, responding to painter and critic Maureen Mullarkey's critique of the anti-porn writings of Catherine MacKinnon and the late Andrea Dworkin. (Scroll down to find my letter among several there. For Mullarkey's original article, click here.)

  • "Heat Made Visible," my foreword to Curtis Knapp's 1993 book Catwalk: Fashion Models of Japan.

  • "Alain Bourgeois: A Sense of Place," the text of an exhibition catalogue essay from 2004.

  • "In the bedroom with Lili Almog." Introduction to an exhibition catalog by this New York-based Israeli artist. (Click Projects>Bed Sequence>About.)

  • "Picture This: Jayne Keedle chats digital with photo critic A. D. Coleman." A 1998 interview that appeared in The Hartford Advocate.

  • Robert Heinecken's pioneering appropriation project, Are You Rea (1968), used pages from popular magazines as "found" paper negatives from which he derived black & white photogrammatic prints. Asked to provide a critical text to accompany an extension of that project, Recto/Verso (1988), which used the same basic technique to generate color prints of comparable pages from publications of that decade, I supplied a "found" photogram of my own -- the text of my original 1970 New York Times commentary on Heinecken's work, as republished in my book Light Readings, the two printed pages thereof treated as a paper negative of their own.

  • "The Perils of Pluralism: Thoughts on the Condition of Photography at Century's End": A meditation included in the limited-edition portfolio celebrating Detroit Focus 2000, a festival that took place that year in the Motor City.

  • "A Painter in a Hurry: The Photography of Ernst Haas": A profile of the late specialist in small-camera color photography, at one of the most beautifully designed sites I've seen. (Once there, click on "On Haas" and then on "Biography" to find my essay.)

  • At Barbara Jaffe's website, Dark Sun: Light from the Negative, you'll find my 1999 essay on her work, "Negative Capability," originally a catalogue essay for a 1999 exhibition at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. (PDF format.)

  • Early in 2004, Afterimage published "The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 is too narrowly applied to photographic works of art" by law student Katherine J. Carver. An exchange of letters followed. You'll find mine at "Letter to the Editor 1" and "Letter to the Editor 2."

  • In English and Hebrew: "Boaz Tal: Allegory/Allegro (Non Troppo)," my catalogue essay for a traveling exhibit of Tal's work that made its debut at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2001.

  • In Norwegian and English: "'Painting with Photographs': The Hybrid Visions of Simen Johan." (Scroll down for the English version.)

  • In Polish only: "Chaos Praxis: Thoughts on Some Examples of New Polish Photography." And responses thereto (also in Polish only), from Adam Sobota and Zbigniew Tomaszczuk. (I'd welcome a translation to the responses -- I hate to miss the fun.)

  • ArtThrob has posted an exchange from 2001 with photographer Jan Faul on the use of the term giclée, originally at a listserv.

  • At the site, "Everybody's Business, and Nobody's: Mainstreaming the Sexual Underground," my foreword to Photo Sex: Fine Art Sexuality Comes of Age (2003), the anthology edited by David Steinberg. (Scroll about halfway down this page for the text.) You'll also find it at photographer Mark Chester's site.

  • From Art Journal (U.S.): A 1996 review of Naomi Rosenblum's A History of Women Photographers, and a 1996 review of Dorothea Lange: A Visual Life.

  • From Katalog (Denmark): "Review: iChickenMoon," a review of a book by Cia Lungile Rinne and Joakim Makathini Eskildsen. Password-protected and for subscribers only. What began as a short book review (in Katalog, Vol. 13, no. 1) of a prize-winning 1999 project on South Africa by these two Scandinavians, a writer and a photographer, turned into an extended exchange of letters between myself, Rinne (the writer), and Colleen Thornton on the problems of documentary and the intrusion of academic fine-art practice into that mode.

  • I have another essay in the online version of this journal, but it's also password-protected and for subscribers only. Here is the URL, for those of you who do subscribe: Are We There Yet? Documentary Photography and the CD-ROM (Vol. 11, no. 2). This includes considerations of the following three projects: Lewis Baltz, The Deaths in Newport, 1995; Dennis Del Favero, Cross Currents, 1999; and Esther Parada, ". . . To Make All Mankind Acquaintances," 1996, and cross-references those to earlier reviews in this journal of Steve Hart, A Bronx Family Album: The Impact of AIDS, 1997 [Katalog, Vol. 9, no. 4] and Pedro Meyer, Fotografio para recordar (I Photograph to Remember), 1991 [Katalog Vol. 6, no. 4], posted here as well.

  • In fsphoto (a Swiss blog): Two letters from me regarding the willful destruction of the internationally reputed photo program at the Centre d'enseignment professionelle de Vevey (CEPV), in which I taught for three years (2002-04).

  • In TalkBack (an e-zine): "How Self-Publishing Evolved into an Online Café." An early account of the evolution of this website.

  • In various issues of Urban Desires (another e-zine):
    Time Exposure: The 1996 Arles Photography Festival
    Connie Imboden: Out of Darkness
    Dream Stew: Fran Murphy's Photographs
    Prague Summer '95 (with Nina Sederholm)
    Mud Pie: Photos by Nina Glaser

    Elsewhere in The Nearby Café:

    • In the Café Gallery, "Linda Troeller: TB-AIDS DIARY," my essay about this germinal 1988 project accompanying the Café's presentation of it here in its permanent online home. (Originally published in European Photography 11:4, October-December 1990.)

      Under Island Living in the Travel section, you'll find my ongoing series of essays about Staten Island culture and politics, and about broader issues as well.

    • In WordWork, in the Literature & Writing section, you'll find extensive commentary on issues of professional writing, including intellectual property and copyright.

    • And, on the Café's Op-Ed page in the Politics section, you'll find my occasional essays on a variety of themes.

    • Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and trace evidence of other right-brain activity appears in the Villa Florentine section of the Café.

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