Cover of The Matter of Photography in the Americas by Natalia Brizuela and Jodi Roberts
The Matter of Photography in the Americas
Natalia Brizuela and Jodi Roberts


232 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503605428



Latin American and Latino artists have used photography to engage with modern media landscapes and critique globalized economies since the 1960s. But rarely are these artists considered leaders in discussions about the theory and scholarship of photography or included in conversations about the radical transformations of photography in the digital era.

The Matter of Photography in the Americas presents the work of more than eighty artists working in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Latino communities in the United States who all have played key roles in transforming the medium and critiquing its uses. Artists like Alfredo Jaar, Oscar Muñoz, Ana Mendieta, and Teresa Margolles highlight photography's ability to move beyond the impulse simply to document the world at large. Instead, their work questions the relationship between representation and visibility.

With nearly 200 full-color images, this book brings together drawings, prints, installations, photocopies, and three-dimensional objects in an investigation and critique of the development and artistic function of photography. Essays on key works and artists shed new light on the ways photographs are made and consumed. Pressing at the boundaries of what defines culturally specific, photography-centric artwork, this book looks at how artists from across the Americas work with and through photography as a critical tool.

About the authors

Natalia Brizuela is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and of Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jodi Roberts is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University.

This book is published to accompany an exhibition at the Cantor Arts Center.

"[T]he book is valuable. The catalogue includes 140 excellent reproductions of works by 70 artists from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico, accompanied by 20 framing essays that provide important access to this underappreciated community of artists."

—W.S. Johnson, Choice