Lecture "Only an Idiot Would Do That"
MIDWEST Society for Photographic Education
25 October 2013
After more than fifty years, the yellowed books of Ed Ruscha still are alive and continue to require inquiry and provoke conversation. Widely regarded as one of the greatest —and most influential— living artists, Ed Ruscha has managed to have a lasting impact on the medium of photography. This lecture explores a framework around which we might better understand the scope and means by which Ed Ruscha has dramatically —and sometimes quite divisively— impacted the medium of photography. In this lecture, I will retrace Ed's idiosyncratic relationship with photography and the photobook, through addressing his canonized works as well as the long list of contemporary practitioners [including myself] whose works reflect, reference, parody, play homage to, and critique Ruscha.