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Unknown Photographer



Driving northward from captured Elkhotevo, Red Army troops scrape the way clear to advance in the Northern Caucasus, January 1943
Vintage wire photograph on paper

Creation Place: Asia
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.940

Commentary
Russians resort to brawn and shovel in Caucasus: Red Army troops, bundled against the knife-sharp winter air, scrape the way clear for their comrades to advance in the Northern Caucasus. Driving northward from captured Elkhotevo, the Russians are threatening to split the back-tracking Nazis, January 1943.

Materials
Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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