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Tuesday, April 24 • 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Robert Frank’s The Americans: Examining the Meta-pictorial Frame

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This paper will examine embedded compositional frames in photographer Robert Frank's The Americans (1955-1957) as meta-pictorial and self-reflexive tools that combine mediality, compositional isolation and visual ellipsis in order to expose the fallacies of mid-century American idealism. Frank is often considered one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century, yet current analysis of his framing focuses on his use of the frame merely as a compositional choice. Rather than suggesting that Robert Frank’s use of the frame is derived heavily from the work of his mentor Walker Evans; the scholarship of Jacques Derrida, Victor Stoichitā and Péter Bokody will be used as frameworks for discussing the narrative implications of the frames in The Americans as forms of the meta-pictorial frame. By analyzing Frank’s photo-series The Americans, this paper will aim to establish his use of the meta-pictorial frame as a distinctive tool for illuminating social alienation and a false-sense of freedom in America’s nuclear era.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:00pm - 1:20pm PDT
237 Owen Hall

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