Truth in photography
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In The Truth in Painting, philosopher Jacques Derrida argues that the frame of the image, the parergon, is the place of comparison, the space where the image mediates with the not-seen. Group f/64, the West Coast group of photographers that Imogen Cunningham helped found, was named after the aperture stop that, at the time the group formed, was the smallest on a large-format camera and hence yielded the greatest clarity across the image. Lange's early training and background as a photographer was in portraiture, and it is as portraiture that her documentary photographs excel. In making her an icon, the portrait of Florence Thompson somewhat effaces the woman herself. Lange's 1936 photograph Damaged Child, Shacktown, Elm Grove, Oklahoma presents further complications in its ethics of creation. Lange's resistance to the patriarchal racism that led to the internment of innocent Japanese Americans during World War II remained invisible for many years because the government suppressed the photographs that she took.