Allan Sekula (1951-2013) was a photographer, theorist and filmmaker whose work frequently focused on large economic systems, or "the imaginary and material geographies of the advanced capitalist world."
Born in 1951 in Eerie, Pennsylvania, Sekula began making art in the early 1970s, staging performances building installations, and producing photo series. Sekula practices what he calls "critical realism", informed by Marxist thought, documentary photography, and conceptual art.
With Aereospace Folktales (1973), he began mixing his photographic series with long texts, a form for which he would be particularly well-known. Fish Story (1995) explores the world maritime and forms the basis for much of The Forgotten Space.
His books include Photography Against The Grain (1984), Fish Story (1995), Dismal Science (1999), Performance Under Working Conditions (2003), Titanicís Wake (2003), and Polonia and Other Fables (2009).
Sekula produced a handful of videos throughout the 1970s and 80s (including Reagan Tape (1984) with NoŽl Burch), but did not return to filmmaking until 2001, when he made Tsukiji, a portrait of the Japanese fish market. Since then, his films and videos have included Gala (2005), The Lottery of the Sea (2006), and Short Film For Laos (2006).
He taught at the California Institute of the Arts.
NoŽl Burch is a filmmaker and film theorist. Born in San Francisco in 1932, he has lived in Paris since 1951. He graduated from the Institut Des Hautes Etudes Cinèmatographiques in 1954.
In 1973, he published The Theory of Film Practice, a book that coined or established many of the terms that would come to dominate university Film Studies, and has remained a classic of the genre. His other books include To the Distant Observer: Form and Meaning in the Japanese Cinema (1979), and Life To Those Shadows (1990), a materialist critique of classical film theory.
From 1967 to 1972, he produced Cinèastes de Notre Temps (Cinema of Our Time) with Janine Bazin and Andrè S. Labarthe, and directed seven of the seriesí portraits of contemporary filmmakers. During the same period, Burch co-founded and directed the Institut de Formation Cinèmatographique, an alternative film school in Paris.