Continue reading "This Week in Photography Books: Patrick Nagatani"
“If fiction has given more to us than fact, then this is the greatest truth.” Ryoichi/Patrick Nagatani There’s no such thing as truth. That’s what they teach you in college or grad school, anyway. Ever beholden to the French Philosophical titans Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, endless professors teach countless students that each piece of information is inextricable from the power dynamics that created and disseminated it. It is the ultimate example of occupying the intellectual high ground, because the idea can’t be attacked. If you try to undermine the principles, your counter-argument can be dismantled more easily than an Ikea Lack table. (Unscrew the four legs and you’re done.) No matter what you say to critique the core essence of Post-Modern theory, your words will be deflected by attacking the vessel that hosts them: you. Only a person from a very specific cohort, gender, or culture can critique that group, so if you’re not one-of-us, your words are too much a construction of your gender/status/culture for your opponent to give them credence. (Each word must be parsed for its deeper social construct, like Bill Clinton musing about the definition of the word “is.”) Unlike a few weeks ago, I’m not actually writing about the powers that be today, nor the intersection of varying levels of privilege. Nor even will I attack Donald J. Trump. (Well, maybe just a little… for a laugh.) Rather, I want to poke at some dead French guys, and the manner in which their very important ideas have come to undermine the collective fabric of society. (Since they’re dead, and French, we can mock them all we want. C’est vrai?) There was something truly revolutionary in Post-Modernism, as it opened the door for various perspectives to be assimilated