Author(s): John Berger
In one of the most eloquent accounts of photography ever devised (originally published in 1982 and unavailable for many years), the writer John Berger and the photographer Jean Mohr set out to understand the fundamental nature of photography and how it makes its impact. Asking a range of questions - What is a photograph? What do photographs mean? How can they be used? - they give their answers in terms of a photograph as 'a meeting place where the interests of the photographer, the photographed, the viewer and those who are using the photography are often contradictory'. From these beginnings they develop a theory of photography that has at its centre the form's essential ambiguity, arguing that photography is totally unlike a film and has nothing to do with reportage. Rather, it constitutes 'another way of telling'. The unique combination of critic and photographer results in a work that moves beyond the landmarks established by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag to establish a new theory of photography. This unique combination of words and pictures includes 230 photographs by Jean Mohr.
A new edition of John Berger and Jean Mohr's classic investigation into the nature of photography and what makes it so different from other art forms
John Berger was born in London in 1926. His many books, innovative in form and far-reaching in their historical and political insight, include the Booker Prize-winning novel G, To the Wedding and King. Amongst his outstanding studies of art and photography are The Success and Failure of Picasso, About Looking and the internationally acclaimed Ways of Seeing. He lives and works in a small village in the French Alps, the setting for his trilogy Into Their Labours (Pig Earth, Once in Europa and Lilac and Flag). Jean Mohr was born in Geneva in 1925. A documentary photographer who has worked with many of the world's leading humanitarian organisations, he has collaborated with John Berger on a number of projects including A Fortunate Man and The Seventh Man.