Children, parents, friends, siblings and one’s entourage figure amongst the seemingly innocuous subjects of the exhibition So the Story Goes. Throw a few self-portraits in there and you have a bog standard family album. And yet the results of the projects put together by Tina Barney, Sally Mann, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Larry Sultan and Nan Goldin are anything but. These photographers have gone past the ‘pretty as a picture’ aspect of the photographs we strive for. They scrape below the surface for the emotions that we shy away from. They record the moments we are afraid to admit to. Perhaps this book that accompanied the exhibition can be a useful tool to amateurs everywhere, providing a little shove towards more visual honesty.
Paperback, 128 pages. Art Institute of Chicago, 2006. $17.22 at Amazon.