Allan Sekula: TITANIC’s wake (Camera Austria, 2003)


Allan Sekula (January 15, 1951 – August 10, 2013) was an American photographer, writer, filmmaker, theorist and critic. His work frequently focused on large economic systems.





If TITANIC’s wake were a historical novel, Bill Gates, James Cameron, Frank Gehry, Herman Melville, Alexander Calder, Winslow Homer and Honoré de Balzac would all be characters. So would a host of lesser-known figures: the elderly Russian painter Luboff Khoudyakova, the young American anti-globalization activist Kaela Economou, the French metalworker Michel Boireau. This premise sounds both grandiose and impossible: I may be a writer, but I am not a novelist, and I have no particular appetite or aptitude for fictional characterization. But perhaps my confession to this novelistic fantasy can provide a key for viewers. Hopefully, TITANIC’s wake demonstrates that a simple visual diary of the last two years of the twentieth century can suggest the epic sweep and resonance of a historical novel, without in any way trying to be a historical novel, and without departing from the pictorial possibilities of careful documentary photography. Allan Sekula





Publisher: Camera Austria