Anonymous, San Francisco

Katy Grannan American

Not on view

These three photographs (see also 2010.350-.351) are from a recent series made by Grannan on the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the latter city about which Oscar Wilde once quipped, "Anyone who disappears is said to be seen there." Since the 1970s street photography has been viewed by critics on the left as the third rail of photographic genres-an unfair fight in which the prize is a prurient look at the disfigurations that society imprints on its citizenry. Grannan is unafraid to start from this point, bringing the contradictions of the genre to the fore: even though the camera can record every detail, these details can never yield any kind of fixed, stable inner essence to be consumed by the viewer—they can only point back at the viewer's own repertoire of masks and feints.

Anonymous, San Francisco, Katy Grannan (American, born 1969), Inkjet print

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