Danielle Marie VonLehe. The Dialectical Photograph: Redefining the Historical Process Using the Photography of EugÃ¨ne Atget. Honors Thesis, University of Washington. 2014.
My thesis applies characteristics of Walter Benjamin's theory of the dialectical image to selected photographs by the late 19th-early 20th century photographer EugÃ¨ne Atget. I place Benjamin's theory and Atget's photographs in communication with one another to activate the historically specific work of each in the present moment. I question both how interpretation of selected Atget photographs as dialectical images reacts against the misconception of the historical process as progressive and, further, how the photographic medium on a broader level is able to represent history and the present moment as actuality.