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These photographs, now four decades old, seem clearly stained with a sentiment for the country, or at least the country-of-my-mind. Then again, aren’t they all countries of our minds? Isn’t that the issue here? The lands we ‘live in’, their meaning and narratives are mostly a web we spin, stories we tell ourselves of history, identity, heritage, ‘character’ — these are the cloth in which we wrap ourselves, to explain or justify entrenched attitudes and political viewpoints.

In late 1972, shortly after his twenty-seventh birthday, Lewis Baltz conducted an interview . . . with himself. The immediate spur for this unwonted act of self-inquiry is unclear, although it came at a moment when the artist was beginning to receive national attention for his photography. A typed transcript of the interview, which was never published, has recently surfaced, having been handed on at the time by Baltz to one of his students, Laurie Brown.
Mrs. Cameron has carried the art of photography to a more poetic degree of perfection than any other photographer whose works have come under our notice. No other artist with whom we are acquainted has combined with such absolute mastery over the technic resources of the art so refined a taste and so large an amount of genuine artistic feeling.

Like any artists, they were inspired sometimes more than others. They needed to have their cameras with them always and plenty of film, so that when they wanted to photograph something—a hog killing, a colt being born, a birthday party—they could. Picture taking became simply part of their lives, and especially of their play.

If we spend the hour before the shelf cleaning talking down the process of cleaning the shelf, complaining about it, dreading it, investigating the moral niceties of cleaning the shelf, whatever, then what happens is, we make the process of cleaning the shelf more difficult than it really is. 

For the past to become history, many of the details that can be known must be subsumed in a larger story, and most of the available information must be turned into knowledge. The resulting larger story or paradigm can account for extraneous, unknown, and invisible aspects of reality precisely by declaring them to be irrelevant to what really happened. The organization of past evidence into history does not mean that everything must be accounted for. Michel Foucault showed that powerful historical accounts are by no means simply tales of control and domina-tion, but that historical accounts can accommodate difference and otherness by inventing new categories, the way a city zones some sites to be off-limits, reserved for refuse or to house mar­ginalized human life which is thus at once excluded and contained.