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Photography and Thought

Daniel Schwartz, Giovanna Calvenzi, Carolin Emcke, Fanni Fetzer, Beat Wismer


The first longterm appraisal of the photography of Daniel Schwartz

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Daniel Schwartz's photographs explore human activities set against an immense range of political geography and cultural history, touching on such monumental themes as imperial warfare, ancient history, environmental collapse and the vanishing cryosphere. Tracings reveals a body of work that is humanistically motivated and anchored in reality, blurring the divide between photojournalism and art.

Positioning Schwartz’s work to date in the wider history of the medium, Tracings draws together themes tackled in five monographs concerned with cultural history, political geography and the environment published by Thames & Hudson between 1986 and 2017. Essays by Beat Wismer, Giovanna Calvenzi and Carolin Emcke examine the ways Schwartz’s documentary photography intersects with the arts; look at photographic affinities and methods in Schwartz’s work, analysing the narrative of his previous books; and study Schwartz’s depiction of the individual at work, and how photographs of human activities are interwoven with photographs of nature.

Tracings is not so much a retrospective as a project tracing and continuing an evolutionary line through all Schwartz’s projects to date.

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'Invites the reader to interact with its pages … an intricate and sophisticated volume that rewards the time spent with it'
Black + White Photography

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 25.4 x 23.8 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 150

Publication date: 14 September 2023

ISBN: 9780500026342

Contents List

Preface - Fanni Fetzer
Introduction - Beat Wismer
Plates I: Motif
Plates II: Association
Plates III: Absence
Text - Carolin Emcke
Plates IV: Form
Plates V: Observation
Text - Giovanna Calvenzi
Plates VI: Duration
Endmatter: catalogue, references, bios and acknowledgments

About the Author

Daniel Schwartz is a Swiss photographer. He is the author of While the Fires Burn: A Glacier Odyssey (2017), Travelling Through the Eye of History (2009), Delta: The Perils, Profits and Politics of Water in South and Southeast Asia (2004) and The Great Wall of China (2001), all published by Thames & Hudson. Beat Wismer (b. 1953) is an art historian. He has curated numerous exhibitions of historical and contemporary art, on which he has also written and published widely.