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026269333X
 
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The pivot of the world: photography and its nation 
 
  
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Product Details 
  
 
Paperback 
232 pages 
The MIT Press 
Published 2006 
  
Book Description 
  
The old dream of social belonging and political sovereignty--the dream of nation--was fraught with anxiety and contradiction for many artists and intellectuals in the 1950s. On the one hand, memories of the Second World War remained vivid and the chauvinism that had enabled it threatened to return with the growing tensions of the Cold War. On the other hand, the need to bind together into a new global identity--into a world nation or "family of man"--seemed ever more pressing as a bulwark against the rapidly expanding threat of a nuclear World War III.  
  
The Pivot of the World looks at an exceptional effort to work out that geopolitical tension by cultural means as developed in three hugely ambitious photographic projects: The Family of Man exhibition that opened in 1955 and traveled the world for the next decade; Robert Frank's influential book The Americans, photographed in 1955-1956 and first published in 1958; and Bernd and Hilla Becher's typological record of industrial architecture, begun in 1957 and continuing today. Each of these projects worked to release the dream of nation--of belonging and sovereignty--from its old civic trappings through the medium of photography's serial form, in the experience of one photograph followed by another and another and another, so that all seem at once intimately connected and at the same time autonomous and distinct. Innovations in the serial composition of photographic form could open new possibilities for social form while the modern desire for political belonging could be made cosmopolitan, could be globalized--but in the most human of ways. This epic sense of purpose lasted only for a moment--it had already passed by the beginning of the 1960s--but it bears particular interest for any historical understanding of the contest over globalization that continues to hold such great consequence for us now.  
  
About the Author 
  
Blake Stimson teaches art history and critical theory at the University of California, Davis. He is coeditor (with Alexander Alberro) of Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (MIT Press, 2000).
 
  
 
  

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Bernd and Hilla Becher: Industrial Landscapes 
  
Bernd Becher (Photographer); & Hilla Becher (Photographer)
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Bernd and Hilla Becher: Festschrift Erasmuspreis 2002 
  
Bernd Becher (Photographer); & Hilla Becher (Photographer)
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Cooling Towers 
  
Bernd Becher (Photographer); & Hilla Becher (Photographer)
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Typologies of Industrial Buildings 
  
Bernd Becher (Photographer); Hilla Becher (Photographer); & Armin Zweite (Text)
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Silo f++r Kokskohle / Zeche Hannibal / Bochum- Hofstede, 1967. 
  
Hilla Becher; Bernhard Becher; & Rolf Sachsse
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The pivot of the world: photography and its nation 
  
Blake Stimson (Author)
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