Remind me again where I got the idea to buy Susie Linfield’s new book, The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence?
I ordered it two weeks ago, but it just arrived yesterday, which turns out to be too long after the initial recommendation/one-click-order impulse to remember where I saw it.
At first, I assumed it was Brian Sholis’s interview with Linfield for Artforum:
I don’t urge either naive acceptance or cynical rejection of photos of political violence; the book makes a plea for us to use photographs of atrocity as starting points to engage with very complicated histories and very specific political crises. If we want to construct a politics of human rights that isn’t merely an abstraction, we need to look at these photographs of suffering, degradation, and defeat. We need to think clearly not only about the relationships among these images, how they function and what they communicate in aggregate, but about the specific conditions each one depicts, no matter how disturbing, shaming, and bewildering an experience that may be.
But it ends up I’d ordered it three days earlier.
Anyway, whoever you are, Influencer, thank you! I suspect I’m in for a grimly invigorating read.