Fish Story, Sekula’s magnum opus, underscores photography’s role in labor history and in working class responses to globalization. The project has seven chapters, incorporating 105 color photographs, twenty-six black-and-white text panels, and two slide projections. Chapter One documents the central role of the sea in the modern global economy, bringing together images from the world’s port cities. The photographs constitute a unique record of unemployment and dilapidation in the old industrial powers, the capitalist pursuit of cheap labor around the globe, and the strenuous work of seafaring.
Gallery label from XL: 19 New Acquisitions in Photography, May 10, 2013–January 6, 2014 .