” …There are two prominent myths about photography: the myth that it tells the truth and the myth that it doesn’t.” This quote, from artist Jeff Wall, is from a deceptively small book with some big ideas, “Photography: A Very Short Introduction,” by Steve Edwards. The semiotics of photography has never had such an accessible vehicle as this book, which is largely the structure of it: the nature and meaning of the photographic artifact and act. That tension between truth and artifice, across the duality of documentary and artistic intent, has existed from the beginning of photography and before, and still confounds us. There is no one answer, only paradox and ambiguity.

Thanks to J.P. Caponigro for turning me on to this wonderful book. There’s a deeper look into the book over at “Politics, Theary and Photographs.”