It is what it is. Mostly.

Yale University Art Gallery, The Allan Chasanoff, b.a. 1961, Photography Collection. © 2008 Karin Rosenthal, courtesy of the artist

Viewers of “First Doubt” will have to suspend their knowledge of Photoshop, putting aside all those e-mailed images of Sarah Palin and Barack Obama on “Dancing with the Stars” and recall that the images in Chasanoff’s collection are all what he called “straight” images — direct depictions of reality.

Some of the photographers here, like Lee Friedlander and Nicholas Nixon, have made an entire career out of these optical hoaxes. But most of the artists here simply recognized that the privileged position photography has with reality was always a ruse.

It is what it is. Mostly. ‘First Doubt: Optical Confusion in Modern Photography?’ at Yale Tracey O’Shaughnessy


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