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This essay probes whether the non/relation of the photographer to his or her subject determines the effect or affect of the work. Solomon-Godeau begins with Sontag’s indictment of Arbus as a predatory photographer, exploiting people she photographed. She argues that the ethical and political distinction between insider and outsider photography may obscure a slippage between viewing relationships, those that operate between photographed subject and actual viewer. Nan Goldin and Larry Clark stake their claim for authenticity (and “non-objectification”) on their belonging to the milieus they have photographed. Rejecting this notion that being “inside” a particular milieu automatically exculpates the photographer from a voyeuristic and objectifying role, Solomon-Godeau asks whether it is not possible to consider the photographer’s utter exteriority as no more (or less) capable of rendering a certain truth within the limits of what is given to be seen.

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