Allan Sekula

Lives and works in
(b. Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 1951–2013 Los Angeles)

During a career lasting over forty years, Allan Sekula came to redefine the nature of photography as an artistic genre. Cliffhanger, San Pedro, July 1975 and Vietnam Village, San Pedro, July 1975, can be thought as conceptual road-trip photography and are part of the photographic series California Stories, shot in 1975 but not exhibited until 2012 in a format combining related images in a single print. California Stories involves staging, whether deadpan or comic, and also implies a narrative built of a series of summary actions that were sometimes completed through text. These photographs show Sekula’s rethinking of the landscape as space inhabited and transformed by human and specifically social agency rather than the product of what he critiqued as the “neutron bomb” school of photography—“killing people but leaving real estate standing.”