Andy Grundberg
[Critic, curator, and educator, lives in Washington, D.C.]

 ...the essential Postmodern point about photographs and other lens-based images—that by dint of their reproducibility and fecundity they have created a world unto themselves—still holds. Besides changing the nature and capacity of our vision of the observable world, photography has fundamentally changed photography. 
 There is no place in the postmodern world for a belief in the authenticity of experience, in the sanctity of the individual artist’s vision, in genius or originality. What postmodern art finally tells us is that things have been used up, that we are at the end of the line, that we are all prisoners of what we see. Clearly these are disconcerting and radical ideas, and it takes no great imagination to see that photography, as a nearly indiscriminate producer of images, is in large part responsible for them. 
 Modernism required that photography cultivate the photographic—indeed, that it invent the photographic—so that its legitimacy would not be questioned. 
 The arena of art photography, which first seized center stage from photojournalism and now seems ready to cede it back, remains in control. For the shows and books we will be seeing are not photojournalistic in conception and design, but rather view photojournalism as a wellspring of artistic imagery... In short, photojournalism is not displacing art photography. It is being incorporated into the fine art fold, joining fashion, advertising and topographic survey photography as subjects for scholarship and delectation. (1985) 
 We face the prospect of being reduced to the status of consumers who, given a hyper-abundance of choices, lack the ability to choose. Those in power benefit from this abandonment of discernment; they get to make the choices for us. Thus the liberty of an unchecked image environment may prove to be less a blessing than a subtle form of tyranny, and the democracy of the camera a perverse kind of fascism. 
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