"Ultimately, photography is subversive not when it frightens, repels, or even stigmatizes, but when it is pensive, when it thinks.”—Roland Barthes
Great institutions, like New York’s Museum of Modern Art, have the resources and talent to offer meaningful contributions to our cultural conversation. The recently opened, A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio, draws from the museum’s formidable archives, as well as new acquisitions, to ask us to consider photography’s history of experimentation and development within the confines of the studio.
With the “studio” as theme, there is elasticity to include a diverse and significant selection of artists who have helped us to muse on what photography is and what images can do. Persons interested in the academic/intellectual history of photography will find the show most compelling; those looking for entertainment will not. I suspect that for anyone who takes photography seriously, MoMA’s latest photographic exploration will leave you thinking. —Lane Nevares