Rethinking Photography: A Historical Perspective

  • DE
  • EN
The following takes a historical look at the shifting conceptions of photography from the 1950s on, identifying foundational premises which have determined the discourse of photography into the 21st century while also creating contradictions between theory and practice. Using the controversial reception history of Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man exhibition as an example, core aspects of photography’s performativity are elucidated, which conventional theory has failed to accommodate. Further, historical as well as emerging resources are identified which facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of photography’s social significance.

Download icon

Published in:

Preferred Citation
Ferretti-Theilig, Madeline: Rethinking Photography: A Historical Perspective. In: IMAGE. Zeitschrift für interdisziplinäre Bildwissenschaft, Jg. 17 (2021), Nr. 1, S. 15-38. DOI:
 author = {Ferretti-Theilig, Madeline},
 title = {Rethinking Photography: A Historical Perspective},
 year = 2021,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 17,
 address = {Köln},
 journal = {IMAGE. Zeitschrift für interdisziplinäre Bildwissenschaft},
 number = 1,
 pages = {15--38},
license icon

The item has been published with the following license: Unter Urheberrechtsschutz