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How do captions affect the way we "read" photographs? Consider what images convey when shown without captions. What is the effect of words without pictures? Which is more accurate or truthful: words or images?
Consider recent news coverage of the Grand Jury's decision in the Ferguson case. How does the pairing of pictures and captions in the media convey different points of view? How does the combination of images and words affect our understanding or interpretation of current events and the world around us? And how does the wording of different captions affect the way you perceive an image?
Artist John Baldessari has long been interested in combining words and photographs. In an interview with SFMOMA, Baldessari said, "It's a myth that photography represents the truth. Photographers were manipulating imagery way, way back. If anybody believes a photograph's telling the truth, they're in the dark ages." Take a look at the video below to hear more about Baldessari's perspective on the relationship between words and images.
John Baldessari was born in 1931 in National City, California and lives and works in the Los Angeles area. His artwork, including projects such as artist books, videos, films, billboards, and public works, has been featured in more than 200 solo exhibitions and in over 1,000 group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. His awards and honors include memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, the BACA International 2008, and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, awarded by La Biennale di Venezia in 2009. Learn more about his work by accessing the resources below.