Photography Degree Zero
Photography Degree Zero, the first anthology of writings on Camera Lucida, goes beyond the usual critical orthodoxies to offer a range of perspectives on Barthes's important book.
Photography Degree Zero (the title links Barthes's first book, Writing Degree Zero, to his last, Camera Lucida) includes essays written soon after Barthes's book appeared as well as more recent rereadings of it, some previously unpublished. The contributors' approaches range from psychoanalytical (in an essay drawing on the work of Lacan) to Buddhist (in an essay that compares the photographic flash to the mystic's light of revelation); they include a history of Barthes's writings on photography and an account of Camera Lucida and its reception; two views of the book through the lens of race; and a provocative essay by Michael Fried and two responses to it.
The variety of perspectives included in Photography Degree Zero, and the focus on Camera Lucida in the context of photography rather than literature or philosophy, serve to reopen a vital conversation on Barthes's influential work.
Contributors: Geoffrey Batchen, Victor Burgin, Eduardo Cadava, Paola Cortés-Rocca, James Elkins, Michael Fried, Jane Gallop, Gordon Hughes, Margaret Iversen, Rosalind E. Krauss, Carol Mavor, Margaret Olin, Jay Prosser, Shawn Michelle Smith