Lecture 1- What is a Photograph?
-Moment of time
Promotion : Can be (or I should say ‘Is’)part of advertising things/brand /product etc. As photograph is a medium through which one can promote thing or product .
Observation : What made the photograph click the image? What he observed in that time of moment. Or to understand that photograph.
Evidence: The proof of existence of something present/seen in that image whether it be a person or cloth or a thing or anything.
Production: Photograph is just not a photograph in itself but a production. A photograph goes through many production to become a single PHOTOGRAPH. Like
-Moment Of Time: A photograph shows the time ,scene,moment ,situation,feeling ,expression , state, condition captured in that.
What Is Photography?
A technology or a way of making an image?
A use ? An object in set of contextual (personal/social) ?
Does Photography have a defined function?
-“Photography as such has no identity. We must work to recognise the multiplicity of social sites and social practices of photography”
The Burden of Representation
Two sources for photography’s histories:
–Helmut & Alison Gernsheim
The History of Photography: From the earliest use of the camera obscura in the eleventh century up to 1914 Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1955
Burning With Desire: The Conception of Photography MIT Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1999
Some Other Views On Photography :
‘Charles Baudelaire– ‘The Salon Of 1858; 1859
“Photography, as a mechanistic device, impedes the imagination…”
Susan Sontag- On Photography, 1977
“Photography is a social rite Photography risks making us think we know more about the world than we do.”
Rosalind Krauss -‘Notes on the Index Pt.1’, 1977
_”Photography is an indexical process A photograph is like an imprint of the world Index = a coffee cup stain or footprint Not the thing itself, but its indexical mark.”
Andre Bazin- ‘The Ontology of the Photographic Image’, 1960
‘Photography does not create ‘eternal’ images rather it ‘embalms’ time .Photography unlike many of the arts relies on the absence of its maker…”
-“This industry, by invading the territories of art, has become art’s mortal enemy.”
-“[Photography should be] The servant of the Science and Arts.”
-“Having an experience becomes identical with taking a Photograph of it.. Today everything exists to end in a Photograph .”
-“Photography has become one of the principal devices for experiencing something.”
-“Photography does not create ‘external’ images rather it embalms time. ”
-“It is mainly a social rite, a defence against anxiety, and a tool of power.”
Contextual Studies: Research Task 1
• Quotidian scene
• creating a posed appearance.
• Personal moment
Susan Meiselas Liberated Zones 1983
• Three Age Groups
• Before War
• Different Expressions
Susan Meiselas Liberated Zones 1983
This image is a story in itself. Unlike the above two chosen images this is not a made up or posed picture .This image is from the series of EL SALVADOR, 1983 by Susan Meiselas. This image is tensed with the expression yet courageous with the gun in the hand. The three man with different age group have the varying tensed expressions on their faces.I frame this image before the war. The silent worry before war. Three man holding gun in defence for themselves and their families . The image is attracted to me as the photographer has clicked an actual scenario of what was happening .The fear people were going through. This single image explains much about the ElSalvador’s civil war .Teenage-young-man. Here they are sitting in ascending order of life age. Held with a tool odd from their age.
Not only in the age group they are in ascending but in expression of courage to fear they carry the same. The youngest looks the least frightened as with the oldest one. Not only he looks daring but also his way of holding the gun or way of sitting shows him more mature and bold unlike his age or the eldest person with them. Where the guy in the between shows no fear or expression.