This is a collection of essays on the multitudinous uses and abuses of photography in contemporary cultural life. From photojournalism to surrealism, from "green" advertising to pornography, celebrated theorists and famous practitioners examine how photography shapes our perceptions, manipulates our feelings and influences our ideas.
'The Critical Image contains the most incisive and pertinent recent thinking about photography's role in the manipulation of modern consciousness. It reveals the far-ranging ideological uses of photographic "truth" in a culture where pictures speak louder than words. These essays enlarge our capacity for disbelief, for tracking the hidden agenda of images.'
'The essays gathered in The Critical Image represent recent photographic criticism at its best: combative, probing, challenging. By exploring the several roles of photography in contemporary culture and politics, including the politics of gender and sexuality, the book makes a vital contribution to contemporary culture studies.'
'Carol Squiers' collection of excellent essays explores diverse histories of the photographic image, from the photo-op to the avant-garde resistance to photographic realism. How does the photograph mediate our relations to sexual difference, the body, the city, political choice, or cultural crises? The Critical Image is a valuable contribution to contemporary debate on the role of theory within a wider perspective on social movements that articulate the cultural prerogatives of political minorities.'