Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow

Essays on the Present and Future of Photography

by David Levi Strauss

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6 x 8 1/2 inches ca. 192 pages, ca. 25 color and black-and-white images Flexibind 978-1-59711-271-0 May 2014
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At this transitional moment in the field of photography, how should we consider what is to come for the medium? Can its past and present practitioners help guide us, both as creators and as observers? David Levi Strauss—eminent author, critic, and teacher—rises to the challenge of these questions and more in Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow: Essays on the Past and Future of Photography.


In the course of twenty-five essays, some of which appear for the first time in this volume, Strauss discusses the work of artists who provoke us with revealing, clear-eyed investigations of the ostensibly patent world in front of us, and others who transport us to new realms, poetic and unreal—creative minds ranging from Frederick Sommer, Helen Levitt, Daido Moriyama, and Joseph Beuys to contemporary photographers Sally Mann, James Nachtwey, Susan Meiselas, Tim Davis, and many others. Also considered are the groundbreaking theoretical writings of Susan Sontag and Jean-Luc Nancy, the films of Chris Marker and Stan Brakhage, and issues and events that have irrevocably altered the way we consider the medium of photography and how it communicates: 9/11, Abu Ghraib, the death of Osama bin Laden, the Arab Spring, and Occupy Wall Street.


Words Not Spent Today is an incisive exploration of photography’s changing role as a tool of evidence and conscience as we move forward into—can we say it?—a post-photographic era.


David Levi Strauss is the author of From Head to Hand: Art and the Manual (2010); Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics, with an introduction by John Berger (Aperture, 2003); and Between Dog and Wolf: Essays on Art and Politics (1999, updated in 2010 with a prolegomenon by Hakim Bey). Strauss was a Guggenheim fellow in 2003 and received the Infinity Award for Writing from the International Center of Photography in 2007. He is chair of the graduate program in art criticism and writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Collector Daily, 07/28/2014
“Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow, David Levi Strauss”
“Blessings upon Aperture by keeping alive the quaint ritual of collecting criticism in book form. Just as photographs shouldn’t all be debased as information, Levi Strauss’s ardent words deserve a chance to become something other than ‘text.’”
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Publisher's Weekly 06/02/14
“Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow: Essays on the Present and Future of Photography”
"The unforgettable collection is marked by the staunch conviction that, despite its limitations, art has something important to say and should risk saying it."
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