A lot of people here write very negatively about 'postmodern' photography - or rather, about a caricature identified as being over-theorized, elitist, arid, immoral, technically incompetent, etc. I thought it might be helpful to consider a positive example of 'postmodern' photography, or at least one that I really like: Sophie Calle's 'essay' 'The Detective'. The best link I've found on this is http://hosting.zkm.de/ctrlspace/e/works/10, but if anyone finds a better one, please post it. This is unabashedly conceptual and reflexive. It's a unique performance that only has an audience retrospectively, and the photos included are not in any way asthetically interesting in themselves. What Calle did was to hire a private detective to follow her on a specific day (using her mother as an intermediary). The detective photographed her, and took notes on her movements. Calle published these photos and notes together with her own comments on and photos of her activities that day, which were shaped by the knowledge that someone was following her. Furthermore, she asked a friend to follow her too, and take photos of anyone else who looked as if they were following her, so her essay also includes photos taken surreptitiously of the detective himself. Calle says, "I want to show 'him' the streets, the places I love. I want 'him' to be with me as I go through the Luxembourg [gardens], where I played as a child and where I received my first kiss in the spring of 1968. I keep my eyes lowered. I am afraid to see 'him'." The detective, of course, remains completely oblivious of all these associations: his report says only that 'the subject ... crosses the Jardin du Luxembourg'. Calle goes on, after having figured out who the detective is, "Now I trust him. I'm not afraid of losing him anymore. I've become a part of the life of X, private detective. I structured his day, Thursday, April 16, in much the same way that he has influenced mine." There photographs included with the detective's report actually seem a little suspiciously artful, in the sense that Calle always appears obscured or blurred or too far away in them: there is only one in which it might be possible to identify her unambiguously. There is a further layer to this, in that the novelist Paul Auster presents a 'fictionalised' version of Calle and her various experiments in his novel 'Leviathan', the text of which Calle then uses as an introduction to the printed version of her work, annotated by her in red felt-tip. So - I LOVE all this. It maks my head reel every time I go through the various layers of it. What do you think? Please can we try to debate - and disagree - civilly and intelligently, and not respond to crass provocations of any sort.