Beautiful Suffering: Photography and the Traffic in Pain
December 28, 2006 - April 30, 2006
This exhibition of photographs drawn from contemporary art, advertising, and photojournalism, explores the ethics and aesthetics involved in depicting human suffering. Through work by such diverse photographers as Alfredo Jaar, An-My Lê, James Nachtwey, Andres Serrano, and Sebastião Salgado, the exhibition documents some of the key debates concerning the aestheticization of suffering in photography, and considers the ethical, economic and political impact of the production and circulation of these images. The exhibition, and an accompaning catalogue, is organized by Williams College professors Erina Duganne, Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in the History of Photography; Holly Edwards, Lecturer in Art; and Mark Reinhardt, Professor of Political Science and American Studies, in conjunction with Stefanie Spray Jandl, Mellon Associate Curator for Academic Programs at WCMA. Supported by the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Williams College, this exhibition will complement “Extreme Documentary: Alternative Verité,” a multidisciplinary conference organized by the Oakley Center, in collaboration with MASS MoCA, to be held April 7–9, 2006.