Martha Rosler
[Artist, b. 1943, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]

 Just going out on a foray to assemble a collection of street trophies about this or that running social sore can’t be effective—and never was. 
 Photography [can] be seen as a system of representation that you bring to bear on other systems. 
 Are we asserting the easy dominion of our civilization over all times and all places, as signs that we casually absorb as a form of loot? 
 The question at hand is the danger posed to truth by computer-manipulated photographic imagery. How do we approach this question in a period in which the veracity of even the straight, unmanipulated photograph has been under attack for a couple of decades. 
 The exposé, the compassion and outrage, of documentary fueled by the dedication to reform has shaded over into combinations of exoticism, tourism, voyeurism, psychologism and metaphysics, trophy hunting—and careerism. 
 How useful are documentary photographs if there is no follow up, no way of knowing what happened next in the story? 
 Any familiarity with photographic history shows that manipulation is integral to photography. 
 Documentary photography has been much more comfortable in the company of moralism than wedded to a rhetoric or programme of revolutionary politics. 
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