Picture Shopping

Allan Sekula at MoMA is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Beast: Allan Sekula's great "Fish Story" enters the Modern's photo collection.

(Museum of Modern Art Vital Projects Fund, Robert B. Menschel; © 2013 Allan Sekula)

I was so happy to see this and other photos from Allan Sekula's "Fish Story" in the MoMA show of its latest photographic acquisitions. Sekula's project, shot between 1988 and 1995, represents the informative, content-focused end of the spectrum of fine-art photography, so it's great to see it find a home in a museum thought of (utterly unfairly) as the home of formalist Modernism. (As in the Bill Brandt show there that's closing this week.) Funny thing is, I remember that when I first saw Sekula's images, years ago, they seemed utterly resistant to aesthetic concerns – they were just pure documentation of global trade and labor. Now they look like an established, familiar aesthetic.

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