Photography's Neoliberal Realism
Confronting the work of widely celebrated photographers Annie Leibovitz, Gregory Crewdson and Andreas Gursky, Photography’s Neoliberal Realism examines how these artists produce capitalism’s equivalent of the Soviet Union’s socialist realism by giving photographic form to widely held and rarely questioned beliefs and ideas. The ideological framework that Colberg terms ‘neoliberal realism’ serves to cement an economic system whose many fault lines are becoming increasingly clear, such as staggering inequality and racial disparities. This extended essay provides an alternative reading of photographic works laden with artifice, and argues how focusing on this artifice misses the more far-reaching ways such images operate in our visual economy.
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