Absolument must – Theorie der Photographie


Am I exaggerating when calling ‘Theorie der Photographie’ from Schirmer/Mosel a bible for photography lovers? I don’t think so. Edited by legendary Wolfgang Kemp and Hubertus von Amelunxen, the four-volume publication, gathers all essential essays that have been ever written about every aspect of photography. Among the authors not only the most famous thinkers like Sontag, Baudrillard, Benjamin, Flusser, Derrida, Bourdieu, Didi-Huberman or Barthes but also many photographers that had significant impact on the genre’s evolution: Moholy-Nagy, Stieglitz, Strand, Man Ray or Rodtschenko. The list is much longer (all is all it sums up to 139 authors and 175 texts!) so you really get a bigger picture on the essence of the genre. It’s such a luxurious situation to have all essays in one book. Even though printed on a thin paper, all four volumes make a massive book of 1296 pages. I cannot imagine a better read for long autumn/winter evenings and immersing bit by bit into the standpoints of thinkers, philosophers, photographers, scholars, critics. It’s so exciting to have a range of opinions and view; to be able to trace the changes in perceiving photographic practice over the years. If you love photography, you will definitely love this book. The only bad news is that it has been published in German only. Perhaps the perfection of the concept will be a good reason to consider the English edition?


Theorie der Photographie, ed. Wolfgang Kemp and Hubertus von Amelunxen, Schirmer/Mosel