Allan Sekula


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Born in 1951 in Erie (Pennsylvania, USA) and died in Los Angeles (USA) in 2013.

American artist, writer and filmmaker, Allan Sekula is a leading exemplar of socially probing art, photographic and cultural practice. Starting his career with actions and performance art during the era of protests against the U.S. war in S.E. Asia, his work then turned in the early 70’s, towards a practice of social documentary while always questioning the limits of photography’s capacity for clear and reliable communication. In his quest for a critical realism, Sekula sought to shed light on the profound ambiguity of current realities of social life, precariously balanced between objective conditions, hegemonic ideologies, and private fantasies. He focused mainly on showing the “performed” everyday life of all kinds of workers, spending his last years depicting the maritime culture of shipping and port labor as a forgotten space of late-capitalism.

Allan Sekula’s work has been exhibited at Tapies Foundation (Barcelona), Beirut Art Center, MoMa (New York), Documenta Kassel, Whitney Biennial (New York), Sao Paulo Biennial, Taipei Biennial, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitney Museum (New York), Hirschhorn Museum (Washington DC), New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Winnipeg Art Gallery (Vancouver), The Barbican Centre (London), La Virreina - Centre de la Imatge (Barcelona), MACBA (Barcelona), Generali Foundation (Vienna), Foto Institute (Rotterdam), Akbank Sanat (Istanbul).

His work is part of prestigious collections as Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, CNAP - Centre National des Art Plastiques (Paris), FNAC – Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (Paris), IAC – Institut d’Art Contemporain (Villeurbane), MACBA (Barcelona), Museo de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), BPS22 - Collections de la Province du Hainaut (Charleroi), FRAC Grand Large - Hauts-de-France / Normandie Caen / Franche-Comté / Bretagne / Normandie Rouen, Fonds d'art contemporain - Paris Collections, MoMa (New York), Whitney Museum (New York), Tate Modern (London), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Stedelijk Museum, M HKA (Antwerp), Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Warsaw), Johann Jacobs Museum (Zürich), Generali Foundation (Vienna), TBA21 collection - Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna), SFMOMA (San Francisco), Fotomuseum Winterthur, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, MUSAC - Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Museum Folkwang (Essen), Ludwig Museum (Budapest), MCASD - Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, among others.

Selected press


Art Forum

Allan Sekula

February 2021

Art Agenda

Allan Sekula

July 2017

L'Orient le Jour

Allan Sekula

July 2017

Colombus Dispatch

Allan Sekula

June 2017


Allan Sekula

March 2017


Allan Sekula

December 2016


Allan Sekula's ports of call

July 2015


Allan Sekula at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

June 2015

The Brooklyn Rail

When? Where? How?

June 2015

Camera Austria

Allan Sekula

March 2014

texte zur kunst

Remembering Allan Sekula (1951-2013)

December 2013

Camera Austria

Allan Sekula 1951-2013

September 2013


Allan Sekula and the

September 2013


Allan Sekula

December 2012

Le Quotidien de l'Art

Les travailleurs de la mer

May 2012

The Guardian

Allan Sekula: filming the forgotten resistance at sea

April 2012

Beaux Arts éditions - Qu'est-ce que la photographie aujourd'hui

Allan Sekula à contre-courant

November 2009

Le Monde

La mondialisation selon Allan Sekula

March 2008


Perversion du témoignage photographique. I Am a Camera (I Lie)

November 1998

Camera austria international

Allan Sekula

January 1997


Allan Sekula

Art Isn't Fair

December 2020
Publisher: MACK Books
ISBN 9781912339846
Allan Sekula

Photography Against the Grain

November 2019
Publisher: MACK books
ISBN 9781910164495
Allan Sekula

Collective Sisyphus

November 2019
Publisher: Fundacio Antoni Tàpies
ISBN 9783960986904
Allan Sekula

"Disassembled" Images: Allan Seckula and Contemporary Art

September 2019
Publisher: Leuven University Press
ISBN 978-9462701717
Allan Sekula

Fish Story Allan Sekula

June 2018
Publisher: MACK book
ISBN 978-1-912339-04-4
Allan Sekula

Écrits sur la photographie

June 2013
Publisher: Beaux-Arts de Paris20 €

Disassembled Movies 1972-2012

September 2012
Publisher: Akbank Art Center

Polonia and Other Fables

September 2009
Publisher: The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Zacheta National Gallery of Art


November 2003
Publisher: Le Point du Jour
ISBN 978-2-912132-31-2

Performance Under Working Conditions

August 2003
Publisher: Generali Foundation

Dismal Science. Photo Works 1972-1996

October 1996
Publisher: University Galleries. Illinois State University


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