The growing literature and catalogs on photographic collaboration, participation, and collectivity, which are part of the proliferation of artistic projects that assert collaboration as their goal, still mainly focus on photographers who initiate collaborative projects. The repertoire of photographic works by Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, and myself includes many such projects, but we put them side by side with projects in which, for example, the relationship between the different protagonists is less clear, the intentions behind the acts of photography are less favorable for the photographed person, or the motivation to initiate certain projects is troubling or even coercive. This article, written with the collaborative input of Ewald and Meiselas, focuses on our work's basis in the assumption that collaboration always already lies at the basis of the event of photography; collaboration is its degree zero, as photography always involves an encounter between several protagonists in which the photographer cannot claim an a priori monopoly on knowledge, authorship, ownership, and rights. With this in mind, this article addresses the ways we have gleaned our projects from different sources, including police archives, documentation of political movements like the suffragist movement, communal activism, art projects, and so on.
Ariella Azoulay; Photography Consists of Collaboration: Susan Meiselas, Wendy Ewald, and Ariella Azoulay. Camera Obscura 1 May 2016; 31 (1 (91)): 187–201. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/02705346-3454496
Download citation file: