Before there was an Internet, or even television, there was the tabloid. It was a newspaper, but it was also a personal-size billboard. You could walk through the city and catch the news just by looking at what people were reading, and–well before the 24-hour news cycle–you could track events through the day by the successive editions that hit the stands. Luc Sante will talk about the history of tabloids, the poetry of the Railroad Gothic typeface, the many permutations of the half-sheet, the pleasures and dangers of public hysteria, the heritage of the punk-rock handbill, the silent shout and the urban central nervous system, among other things. He will show slides.
Luc Sante first encountered the tabloid as a pedestrian walking by the newsstands in New York City. Showing his personal archives of images from tabloids and other materials, and beginning with memories from his childhood in the 60’s, he will share his own perception of this culture. He will also tell us how the tabloid has been used in movies and pop art and its place in the news ecosystem of today.
Luc Sante is the author of Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, and Folk Photography. He has translated Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College. The Other Paris will be published next year.
A Series on Spectatorship
What hides behind simple gestures of attending.
In this series, UnionDocs invites artists and writers to show us how to become more active, more engaged–and perhaps better–spectators. The speakers share their experiences and personal observations as viewers, readers, watchers, listeners and audience members of visual, video and performance arts, graphic design, radio, TV and cinema. Through their trained gaze and skilled sensitivity, they disturb and displace our perception of contemporary culture and expose spectatorship as an everyday dynamic act.
A series presented by Mathilde Walker-Billaud.