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    Photography and the Cultural Revolution: a wider aperture, a longer exposure

    Mulloy, Martin (2017) Photography and the Cultural Revolution: a wider aperture, a longer exposure. Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art 4 (2), pp. 183-201. ISSN 2051-7041.

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    The Cultural Revolution was not only a political attempt to restructure society in its entirety but a transformation of the world of Chinese visual representation. Photography was a major part of the image world of the Cultural Revolution, serving ideological aims and projecting a coercive revolutionary mode of social and political behaviour. This strict state control of photographic production and dissemination has led to photography, and other forms of visual expression in the Cultural Revolution, being viewed as an exceptional visual culture, framed and understood largely as a phenomenon of propaganda. This reductive view is reflected in the hitherto dominant image world of the Cultural Revolution which has sometimes calcified into a visual discourse of mass rallies and Mao iconography. This article considers the more recent emergence of other photographic records of the period – transgressive images, unofficial and private images, archival research projects – which offer alternative frameworks of mediating contested memories and understanding the history, complexity and consequences of the Cultural Revolution.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Arts > History of Art
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2018 15:15
    Last Modified: 08 Jan 2018 15:15


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