Fish Story, Sekula’s magnum opus, underscores photography’s role in labor history and in working class responses to globalization. The project has seven. First published in , Allan Sekula’s Fish Story is regarded as a seminal early critique of global capitalism and landmark body of work that challenged. Fish Story [Allan Sekula] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

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The project has seven chapters, incorporating color photographs, twenty-six black-and-white text wtory, and two slide projections. With the fisg Fish StoryAmerican artist Allan Sekula reconstructed a realist model of photographic representation, while taking a critical stance towards traditional documentary photography. The counterpart, then, to the familiar post-industrial and postmodern visions of social reproduction founded on service labour, the creative industries and the fashioning of consumer experiences in the advanced societies of the North has been the ebbing visibility of material production over the last thirty to forty years in those same countries.

In Fish Story Sekula picked up this tradition, demonstrating the history and future of maritime space not eekula as fissh visual space but also as a socio-economic one.

Often absent, obscured or incidental, sometimes central, mostly at work on specific tasks, and occasionally dwarfed by some hulking industrial apparatus, the subjects include welders, dockers, market traders, scavengers, rescue workers and fishermen, as well as the unemployed, children and families.

The exhibition in Witte de With consisted of 7 sequences or chapters, incorporating framed color photographs: Social Wtory in Contemporary Societytrans. While commodity chains have proliferated exponentially, their links have become both more numerous and more fragile as a result of such trends as the dissociation of brand ownership from factory ownership, and sdkula relocation of factory work to ad hoc allam, clandestine Export Processing Zones in the global South as well as subterranean sweatshops in the North.

Acknowledgements This paper is a revised version of an article originally published in immediationsDecemberpp. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. Her book on the politics of shipping, Sinews of War and Tradewill be published by Verso in Two Years After Closing. From —, Sekula spent seven years photographing harbours and major port cities around the world.

On land the viewer is privy to these mostly unseen frontier towns for the global circulation of containers, within which individual people occupy a variety of positions. I would like to thank the editorial team of immediations for permission to republish the article, and Simon Baker, Sarah James, Sara Knelman, Julian Stallabrass and fisu anonymous reviewers for their invaluable feedback on earlier versions of the text, as well as Christopher Griffin and Jennifer Mundy at Tate Papers.


While the texts bookend the photographs in the publication, partition walls demarcating the different aklan in the gallery allow for a degree of variation in the spatial arrangement of texts among images without relinquishing that clarity. The first chapter goes on to focus largely on both the busy and abandoned harbour areas of California, including an empty shipyard after its use as a location for a Hollywood film shoot fig.

Are there broader lessons to be alaln from this disappearance? In the last year of Sekula’s life, she returned to Los Angeles to help organize his archive, and since that time has overseen the inventory of his studio and arranged for a number of key posthumous exhibitions and publications. In short, the boundaries of that institutional field are clearly more porous than Buchloh is here willing to admit, and with his help, Fosh Story becomes legible within the artistic field precisely as a contravention of sekyla dominant terms of post-Conceptual photographic practice.

Gallery label from XL: For an account of these trends, see Naomi Klein, No Logo: Fish Story was his third project in a related cycle of works that deal with the imaginary and actual geography of the advanced capitalistic world.

Allan Sekula — Fish Story

Jacques Seklua, Spectres of Marx: Sekula, in Risbergp. Above all, this means srkula recognise the inherent contradictions of a complex and continuously changing world-system, and indeed to insist on contradiction as the very locus of change. The fourth chapter, Seventy in Seven completed intakes the burgeoning shipping industry of South Korea as its subject, together with its winners and losers: It shows the Staten Island Ferry binoculars, minus the boy, directed through the window of the deck towards another ship in the hazy middle distance, the metallic sheen of the casing reflected in the same window back towards the viewer.

Dismal Science and Walking on Water.

For Buchloh, documentary as a form of realism is of utmost importance in this equation. The photographs constitute a unique record of unemployment and dilapidation in the old industrial powers, the capitalist pursuit of cheap labor around the globe, and the strenuous work of seafaring.

She is the author of Dialectical Passions: The conveniences of a raised standard of living and the twin impositions of Eekula work and leisure are here inseparable.

ICA | On Allan Sekula’s Fish Story

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma. This is true enough of advertising and the mass media. This paper is a revised version of an article originally published in immediationsDecemberpp.

There is all the more risk, then, for the photographer who makes this their theme, that particular circumstances will come off as the passive illustration of immutable historical forces, and that his or her individual subjects will read as helpless victims. Accordingly, Fish Story targets numerous aspects and local effects of the world-historical picture, concentrating on the painful transitions of Europe and the US from industrial to post-industrial societies, and the contemporaneous industrialisation of East Asia.


Most importantly, it would seem that, in any attempt to portray global capitalism, a danger of detachment and reification will be heightened by the sheer invisibility of the systemic. Nudging the view a little to the right, the second image reveals a pocket of urban dereliction just across the river, shielded from the museum by a row of apartments.

Overall, the sequences formed a circular movement. Tourism itself and, by extension, the rise of the service industries in general cannot accommodate, nor can the touristic view disguise, the impoverishment of post-industrial decline, of which evidence abounds in Fish Storyfrom the scavengers of Los Angeles harbour to the long queues of a Gdansk unemployment office.

More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library. However, if the reflex of contemporary consumer society in the global North is to foster a romanticised vision of industrial labour consigned to an imaginary past, this may be as refuge from the urgent pressures of the present.

In doing this, a number of contemporary and historic routes were traced and questioned.

Allan Sekula — Fish Story – Exhibitions – Program – Witte de With

See Elisabeth Sussman ed. Taking Aim at the Brand BulliesLondonpp. The whole ensemble was later exhibited at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, inand then at Documenta 11 incurated by Okwui Enwezor, where it appeared considerably less isolated than at the Whitney Biennial nine years earlier, taking its place among a large number of photographic and documentary film works. A key issue in Fish Story is the connection between containerized cargo movement and the growing internationalization of the world industrial economy, with its effects on the actual social space of ports.

Fish StorySekula’s magnum opus, underscores photography’s role in labor history and in working class responses to globalization. Since its conception, Sekula sought to build the project cumulatively, exhibiting and publishing Fish Story as a work in progress.

Completed between andthe third instalment of this trilogy, the exhibition and book project Fish Allaj fig. Allan Sekula Fish Story — Chapter 8: Courtesy Estate of Allan Sekula.

See Beverly Silver, Forces of Labor: Main menu additional Become a Member Shop. Robert Brenner, The Boom and the Bubble: