Photography Against the Grain: Essays and Photo Works, 1973–1983


Allan Sekula

Long out of print, this seminal collection of essays and photographs by artist, theorist and filmmaker, Allan Sekula was originally published by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1984. Sekula sought to portray the inextricable bond between labour and material culture, drawing deeply on Marxist theory to argue passionately for a collective model of progress. Sekula taught at California Institute of Arts (CalArts) from 1985 until his death in 2013, and from that insider’s position he critiqued photography and the circumstances of its production and consumption, exposing what the medium failed to represent – women, labourers, minorities and the institutional structures that reinforce cultural biases.

Allan Sekula (1951–2013) was an American artist, whose work spans multiple media: long form photographic series (Aerospace Folktales, 1973; School as a Factory,1980; War Without Bodies, 1991/96), critical texts (The Body and the Archive, 1986 and Debating Occupy, 2012) and film (The Forgotten Space, 2012).



Silkscreened OTA-bound softback
250 pages, 70,000 words
21.5 x 27.7 cm

Mack, October 2016
ISBN: 978-1-910164-49-5

Informação adicional

"A heartfelt argument for social responsibility" – Vanity Fair

"Sekula’s diptychs, triptychs and essays deliver and withhold, repeat and retract, the narratives we tell and are told […] there is never just one story" – TATE

"Sekula harnessed the power of oppositional forces and created a photography that truly moved, as the book’s title suggests, against the grain" – Frieze

"Compelling" – Contemporary Art Review

"Sekula tackled these vast and vital issues with a critical mind and eye" – 1000 Words

"Sekula changed the vision of this medium [photography]" / "Sekula a changé la vision de ce medium" – Agenda Culturel

"An urgent book" – Photoeye, Best books of 2017