Abstract

In 2007, artist Sharon Lockhart made a large-scale photograph of two young girls reading braille, based on a specific photograph by August Sander from the 1930s made in an institute for blind children. Turning to the widespread iconography of blindness in the history of photography, this essay considers the importance of such images for a larger theory of photographic spectatorship. Lockhart's image of blind children relates to Sander's photograph, but does not duplicate it in all respects; her alteration of the historical image opens onto the larger non-coincidence of vision that photographic seeing instantiates. Ultimately, Lockhart's relational practice of photography-connecting each photograph she makes to prior images, while never fully duplicating or replicating them-provides a model for understanding the relational dynamics of photographic spectatorship. The essay also discusses Paul Strand, Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida, Kaja Silverman's World Spectators, “straight photography,” and Michael Fried.

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