Title :

Reading August Sander's archive

Author :
JONES, Andy ;
Publication year :
Language :
English ;
Abstract :
The 1929 publication Antlitz der Zeit (Face of our time), a book of 60 portraits by August Sander, is considered as one of the high-points of German Neue Sachlichkeit photography. Though Sander presented his project as an objective, neutral presentation of a cross-section of the German nation, arranged according to social profession, the question of the politics of Antlitz der Zeit has been a source of fascination ever since Walter Benjamin championed the work in his 1931 essay 'A short history of photography.' While Benjamin saw in Sander's work a radical counterweight to the work of Albert Renger-Patzsch (which, in Benjamin's famous critique, represented the aesthetics of commodity fetishism), recent writers have been less convinced. Reading Antlitz der Zeit either in terms of the discourse of the instrumental archive, or Nazi mythology, Sander's work has been presented as, at best, problematic and limited in its depiction of social relations and, at worst, bordering on the proto-fascist. However, the attempt to identify the politics of Antliz der Zeit as either radical or conservative is to ignore its complexities. Here the book is read in relation to the political discourse of the German Mittelstand (petite bourgeoisie) in order to uncover the contradictory politics of Sander's project. ;
Pagination/Size :
7 ill. ;
Topic :
French keywords :
Allemagne ; Iconographie ; Neue Sachlichkeit ; Photographie ; Portrait ; Sander, August, 1876-1964 ; 1900-2000 ;
Descriptors :
Germany ; Iconography ; Neue Sachlichkeit ; Photography ; Portraits ; Sander, August, 1876-1964 ; 1900-2000 ;
Document type :
Article ;
Source :
Oxford art journal, 2000, 23, 1
INIST identifier :
24985483 ;
ISSN 0142-6540 ;
Provenance :
Bibliographie d'Histoire de l'Art ;
Publisher :
Setsquare, Oxford
Publisher country :