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Seriously Uncool

Jenny Diski: Susan Sontag, 22 March 2007

At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches 
edited by Paolo Dilonardo and Anne Jump, preface by David Rieff.
Hamish Hamilton, 235 pp., £18.99, April 2007, 978 0 241 14371 1
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A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005 
by Annie Leibovitz.
Cape, 480 pp., £60, October 2006, 0 224 08063 6
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... juxtapositions of photographs typical of sophisticated exhibitions and books’. I suppose that Annie Leibovitz, Susan Sontag’s partner for her last 15 years, is in one sense of the word as sophisticated a photographer as you get these days. She’s a celebrity snapper and shoots for fashion magazines, advertisements, movie stars and Disney. She ...

In for the Kill

Inigo Thomas: Photographing Cricket, 17 August 2017

... photograph should be like a Cartier-Bresson moment, something you observe, not a reaction Annie Leibovitz style between the subject and the photographer. A lot of it is fashion I guess. Certainly these days, I find myself getting the subject to stare at the camera, because people expect it.’ Jeff Thomson at Lord’s in 1975, photographed by ...

Tunnel Vision

Jenny Diski: Princess Diana, 2 August 2007

The Diana Chronicles 
by Tina Brown.
Century, 481 pp., £18.99, June 2007, 978 1 84605 286 6
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by Sarah Bradford.
Penguin, 443 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 14 027671 8
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... relief because photo booths are so often out of order, she thanks, too, ‘the gifted photographer Annie Leibovitz’, who ‘with her usual generosity insisted on taking the portrait the publisher required for my book jacket’. In addition to all this, Brown has years of journalistic experience to draw on for her prose. It shows when she muses about ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides, 24 October 2019

Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... of publicity stills), Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and, later, her partner Annie Leibovitz. Sontag’s post-cancer skunk-stripe hair made her instantly spottable. For those hitting the right places in Manhattan, Sontag sightings were as recurring and oddly reassuring as Warhol sightings, as if both were autographing the air with ...

At the V&A

Marina Warner: Alexander McQueen, 4 June 2015

... points – martyrdom, decay, hell, wild animals – with them. A group photograph taken in 2000 by Annie Leibovitz shows McQueen in a lighter mood, playing with his dogs while his studio team and friends look on; Isabella Blow and the Chapman Brothers are there, and Sam Taylor-Wood (as was), as well as the jeweller Shaun Leane, and Sarah Burton, who would ...


Lucie Elven: LA Non-Confidential, 17 June 2021

I Used to Be Charming 
by Eve Babitz.
NYRB, 448 pp., £14.99, January 2020, 978 1 68137 379 9
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... highs and lows during weekday mornings spent ‘maniacally’ roller-skating with her lover Annie Leibovitz. Her attitude switches from reverential to disinterested in a beat. She scrutinises the different powers of beauty, art, money – ‘Beauty, unlike money, seems unable to focus on the source of the power,’ beautiful people don’t like to ...


Iain Sinclair, 6 June 1996

... ads, it’s Gregory. He’s the only pensioned Beat still using well-hiked trainers. Look at the Annie Leibovitz spread in Vanity Fair, a row of brilliantly varnished hoofs – and Corso sockless in scuffed white casuals. Footwear is an important element in the Corso creed. ‘Don’t take off your shoes,’ that’s what they told him, aged 17, when he ...

Nothing Natural

Jenny Turner: SurrogacyTM, 23 January 2020

Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism against Family 
by Sophie Lewis.
Verso, 216 pp., £14.99, May 2019, 978 1 78663 729 1
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Making Kin Not Population 
edited by Adele Clarke and Donna Haraway.
Prickly Paradigm, 120 pp., £10, July 2018, 978 0 9966355 6 1
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... help that the IPs we get to hear about are usually the celebrities: Elton John and David Furnish; Annie Leibovitz; Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Surrogacy is one of those subjects on which ‘colour-blind – white – feminism’ tends not to mince words. ‘A human-rights violation’, the journalist Julie Bindel called it in 2018 when the Olympic ...

Who do you think you are?

Jacqueline Rose: Trans Narratives, 5 May 2016

... are not, however, the versions of trans that make the news. At the end of her photo session with Annie Leibovitz, Jenner looked at the gold medal she had won as Bruce Jenner in the 1976 Olympic decathlon, and commented as ‘her eyes rimmed red and her voice grew soft’: ‘That was a good day. But the last couple of days were better.’ It’s as if ...

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