On Photography is a seminal and groundbreaking work. Susan Sontag’s critique of photography asks forceful questions about the moral and aesthetic issues surrounding this art form. Photographs are everywhere, and the ‘insatiability of the photographing eye’ has profoundly altered our relationship with the world. Photographs have the power to shock, idealize or seduce, they create a sense of nostalgia and act as a memorial, and they can be used as evidence against us or to identify us. In these six incisive essays, Sontag examines the ways in which we use these omnipresent images to manufacture a sense of reality and authority in our lives. ‘Sontag offers enough food for thought to satisfy the most intellectual of appetites. One of America’s best-known and most admired writers, Susan Sontag was also a leading commentator on contemporary culture until her death in December 2004.
Paperback (A format), 224pp
Penguin Books, 2008 (1977)