Visual Literacy: A Critical Library

A selection of more than 40 books about photography and visual literacy on show at BASE Milano as part of PhotoVogue Festival 2022
October 28, 2022

Since we are ceaselessly consuming tons of photographs in our everyday lives, it is now more important than ever to ask ourselves how they reflect, communicate, and shape cultural meaning. Reading, understanding, and interpreting images is crucial in today’s visually-oriented society. From the 1960s onward—when the importance of visual literacy was recognised—many writers, intellectuals, critics, and art historians have been exploring how photography could be analyzed from social, political, and semiotic perspectives.

“Visual Literacy: A Critical Library” is a selection of books, curated by Rica Cerbarano, that comprises works that have marked the history of photographic criticism and contemporary publications that have examined the current role of images. Its aim is to provide a comprehensive bibliography to approach the language of photography with consciousness and critical sense.

Each of these books should represent a milestone for artists, curators, editors, and any person working with images, but our aim is that they reach everyone, as we strongly believe that visual literacy can enable individuals to consciously participate in contemporary culture and society.

The books featured in the exhibition are:

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