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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America (Image Maker Presentation)

Saturday, November 03 - 4:40PM to 5:00PM
CFA 2018

"Executive Order" (Daylight Books, Spring 2018), Susan Ressler's first monograph, looks at the rise of the modern American corporation through ironic, precision-honed photographs of 1970s office interiors. Ressler examines the executive boardrooms, private offices, and power lobbies of prominent businesses in Los Angeles and the Mountain West. Her images provide a trenchant critique of corporate America during a period of explosive growth when profits were increasingly preempting people. "Executive Order" includes images from the 1979-80 NEA-sponsored survey, the Los Angeles Documentary Project. Ressler's contribution is now recognized as an epochal and historically important record of the growth of corporate America which still resonates today. As scholar Mark Rice notes, "By bringing these photos to audiences now, Ressler provides viewers new ways of understanding the worlds of photography and American corporate culture as they intersected in her lens during the decade that brought us 'modern life.'"

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Susan Ressler
Susan Ressler

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