Ex. 4.4: Of Mother Nature and Marlboro Men

I read Deborah Bright’s 1985 essay, “Of Mother Nature and Marlboro Men”. I’ve summarised what I consider to be the main points.

  • American photography had traditionally been male-dominated and this showed through in the photography itself. Mans sway and control over the environment was apparent and was little influenced by women due to the lack of female practitioners.
  • All photography has an agenda or personal bias due to the photographer.
  • The establishment was male which put a further skew onto how landscapes were perceived. This was backed-up by the overwhelmingly-male media. The film industry, having saturated the market with cowboy films had also made those particular landscapes very masculine.
  • By the 1970’s, some artists were beginning to get political with their work. Environmentalism was an increasingly hot topic but galleries often censored art that was considered ‘too political’.
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