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Three Americans

17 May to 31 July 1984

View on MoMA

MoMA Staff



Robert Adams
American, born 1937
12 exhibitions
Jim Goldberg
American, born 1952
2 exhibitions
Joel Sternfeld
American, born 1944
2 exhibitions

New York Times Review of the exhibition


13 May 1984


By Richard Bernstein

Richard Bernstein is the chief of The Times' United Nations bureau. ''When I read Orwell, my hair stood on end at mere words running across the page in front of me, at a mere idea.'' So, in the forward to a clandestine copy of ''1984,'' did the Czechoslovak dissident writer Milan Simecka express the astonishment, the thrill of discovery, the ''torment of self- flagellation of the mind,'' that can come from reading a forbidden book. Then he went on to strike a note of bittersweet irony as he claimed a unique, if unwanted, intensity in the life of the mind for those who live under dictatorships. There are certain countries, Mr. Simecka wrote for his underground Czechoslovak audience, ''where you can read newspapers which print unofficial views, or go to a public library and borrow just any book you want, or make fun of the country's leaders . . . or even bring a stool to a certain park and spout whatever you please to a bunch of people who have enough patience to stand there and listen to you.'' In those countries, he went on, independent thought can hardly be described as an adventure: ''This is thought without jeopardy.'' But if you want ''adventure by reading,'' he wrote, you have to be born ''in the right place, at the right time, in the appropriate historical conditions'' - a dictatorship like Czechoslovakia, for example.

New York Times • Magazine • page 28 • 4,592 words