Essay by Vicki Goldberg.
Vicki Goldberg, one of the leading voices in the field of photography criticism, is well known for her cogent and perceptive writing, which is regularly featured in such national publications as The New York Times, American Photographer and Vanity Fair. Light Matters gathers for the first time a selection of this remarkable author's essays and criticism, culled from her writings published over the past 25 years. Goldberg's take on photography is both insightful and encompassing: her subjects range from pop imagery to war journalism, from photo-booth portraits to manipulated digital imagery, from the “boredom” of voyeurism to the great preponderance of tragic photographs in the news. She brings new light to the work of the medium's “old masters,” among them Walker Evans, Lotte Jacobi and Lartigue, writing with equal acuity about contemporary trailblazers such as Bill Viola, Daido Moriyama and Bastienne Schmidt. Goldberg also tackles provocative larger issues facing the medium, such as the potentially “transgressive” nature of photographs, and the camera's powerful role in a culture of commodification. Dismissing clichés and deftly negotiating the many diverging paths photography now follows, Goldberg demonstrates how to consider not just photographic images themselves, but their impact, and the meaning of that impact. Vicki Goldberg: Light Matters showcases a writer of great intelligence, wit and insight, whose understanding of this multifarious and evolving medium is unsurpassed.