False witness?


General Photography

In The Guardian, David Hockney argues that “that painting can do things photography can’t, even when it comes to telling the truth about war. […] Photography, with its claim to truth, is a discipline, he thinks, and he’s glad digital technology is ending the rule of the one-eyed monster that never lied. ‘I suppose I never thought the world looked like photographs, really. A lot of people think it does but it’s just one little way of seeing it. All religions are about social control. The church, when it had social control, commissioned paintings, which were made using lenses’ - as Hockney has argued in his book Secret Knowledge - ‘and when it stopped commissioning images, its power declined, slowly. Social control today is in the media - and based on photography. The continuum is the mirrors and lenses.’”

Wrong, retorts Joel Sternfeld, winner of the Citigroup photography prize: “Photography has always been capable of manipulation”.