By January 2, 2017 Read More →

AuthorView – Framing Reality

By Ken White
“Framing Reality”

January 13-22, the Prospect Theater Project is presenting a full production of my play, Migrant Mother: A Legend of the Strength of American Motherhood. It tells the story of the encounter between Dorothea Lange and Florence Owens Thompson that led to the iconic photograph, “Migrant Mother.” The subject is of interest because Florence Owens Thompson lived in Modesto for a time and is buried at Lakewood Cemetery in Hughson.

The Prospect will be hosting a special event during the run of the play on January 18th. We will be inviting local photographers to have a conversation about the concept of “framing reality.” We will discuss the following statement: “The camera, as theorist Andre Bazin long ago believed, is essentially an objective recording device; as such, it cannot lie. If one accepts this notion, then neither can the camera be used to express the subjective vision of an individual artist.”

That quote will be the departure point for a conversation about “documentary photography,” especially as it relates to the work of Lange. There are those who believed Lange never staged any of her photos. There are others who believe she may have. The event will take place on Wednesday, January 18th at 5PM.It will be a free event, although donations will be gladly accepted.

We will start the conversation by posing the above statement. We will then ask each photographer to give a short statement about who inspired them to become a photographer and who influenced their style, as well as their view of the statement. And perhaps show an image or two of their own to illustrate their point. We are also inviting each photographer to showcase and sell their work. The exhibit will remain at the Prospect for the Third Thursday Artwalk on January 19th and throughout the run of the play and the rest of the month of January. The director, the actors, and I will also participate and discuss the process of bringing this play to life. Tickets are available at



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