In his book The Ongoing Moment, the English writer Geoff Dyer (2005) draws out some of the common themes that have concerned photographers over the last century. His focus is the documentary tradition, primarily American, and within it he notes the homage that younger photographers pay to the history of image making that has gone before them. Barbershops are one example. Tracing a lineage from Walker Evans through Robert Frank to Michael Ormerod, with a short detour by way of Diane Arbus, he notes the ways in which the barbershop has been a recurring motif, how different people have photographed the same things. His reading of Ormerod’s image of a closed barbershop is turned into a commentary on the appropriateness of a subject for photography. The implication being that as a subject it is over and done with; the barbershop is “a site of abandoned meaning” (Dyer 211).

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XCP Streetnotes



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School of Art, Design and Architecture