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. 
 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. 
 Photography [can] be seen as a system of representation that you bring to bear on other systems. 
 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. 
 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? 
 Any familiarity with photographic history shows that manipulation is integral to photography. 
 Women war photographers had to fight on two fronts: the bombs, and the men. 
 The deskilling of photography takes place programmatically in conceptual art. It rejects all of modernist photographic aesthetics with a Duchampian approach, saying that a photograph is a mere indexical trace recorded by an optical chemical system. And if you take a photograph of a gas station, that is worth as much as everybody else being photographed on earth. 
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