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Conversations with Authors: Michael Fried on Photography, Modernism, and the Importance of Not Losing Faith in the Dialectic

Michael Fried, J. R. Herbert Boone Professor of Humanities, The Johns Hopkins University, in conversation with Harry Cooper, curator and head of the department of modern and contemporary art, National Gallery of Art. To celebrate the publication of his recent book, Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before, Michael Fried spoke with Harry Cooper, his former student, about the place of photography in contemporary art. In this podcast, recorded on January 25, 2009, at the National Gallery of Art, the conversation centered on such topics as the relationship between the photograph and the viewer, the essential characteristics (if any) of photographs, and issues of realism and literalism, narrative and theatricality. Artists discussed included Jeff Wall, Thomas Struth, Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, and others.