Originality And The Apparatus Of OriginalityPresentation Transcript
Originality and the Apparatus of Individuality The Future of the image Chris Ede Tri
Originality and the apparatus of Individuality The Dispersal of the Portrait The Distraction of the Viewer The Disappearance of the Individual (?)
“The Pictorial genre of the portrait doubly cherishes the cornerstone of bourgeois Western culture, where the uniqueness of the individual and his accomplishments is central. And in the portrait, originality comes in twice. The portrait is highly esteemed as a genre because, according to the standard view, in a successful portrait the viewer is confronted not only with the ‘original’, ‘unique’ subjectivity of the portrayer but also with the portrayed.” (Alpen 2005, p.21)
Stefan Sagmeister (1996) Lou Reed Poster
Bettina Von Zwehl (1998) Untitled One No 6.
Bettina Von Zwehl (2003) Rain No 3.
Hellen van Meene
Philip-Lorca diCorcia (2000) Head #10.
Philip-Lorca diCorcia (2000) Head #13.
How does a portrait work? “The illusion of the uniqueness of the subject presupposes belief in the unity of signifier and signified. As soon as the semiotic unity is challenged the homogeneity* and the authenticity of the portrayed subject falls apart.” (Alpen 2005, p.25) *the ‘self ‘ that apparently gives the sitter a consistent kind of essence of thing that can be grasped.
Pablo Picasso (1910) Daniel-Henry Kahnweiller
Francis Bacon (1975) Studies from the Human Body
Christian Boltanski (1987) Alter to the Chases High School (Autel Chases)
Marc Quinn (r) with his DNA portrait of Sir John Sulston Marc Quinn (2001) Portrait of genome scientist Sir John Sulston
The Distraction of the Viewer
“The eye of ego consciousness, the eye of the reader of the book, arises within a cultural-historical moment in which the ego as disembodied spectator is invited to keep his or her eye, singular, fixed, and distant, upon the world [...] [T]he eye of television consciousness is re-minded of the body. Seduced by images, a seduction which to be sure is not without its problems, the eye of the television body is an emotional vision, a vision that is moved at a bodily level.” (Romanyshyn 2006 ,
“.. . The sense of the individual was an important product of literate culture ... Easily reproducible printed texts could be poured over by individuals, often in solitary circumstances [...] Individual characters in novel narratives take on a shape which would have been largely unthinkable within the rubric of the romance or epic. Character’s psychological depth and existence in a world determined by will we to become the [essential element] of the novel...” (Cobley 2001, pp 79-80)
“It is interesting ... that the undecidabilty which characterizes postmodern fiction anticipates the fate of narrative as it has been embodied by a further technology developed in the last decades of the twentieth century: a technology that, like radio and television, has contributed to the demise of traditional narrative authority and the new formulations of identity: a technology which has also operated in an environment in which there is increasing awareness of the characteristics of genres and an enhanced sense of the capacity for participation in narrative.” (Cobley 2001, p. 200)
We find ourselves “submerged in a world that is almost entirely made up of traces, in which no message is complete in and of itself. It is this incompleteness and the inability of images to assert absolute meanings that sustains the viewer’s interest in them as instruments of exchange and communications. It is also why images are so multidimensional even in those instances when they picture something in a very direct or active way.” (Burnett 2004, p. 18)
Stefan Sagmeister (1996) Lou Reed Poster
The disappearance of the Individual?
Susan Greenfield - Id
References/ Readings Alpen, E V (2005) Art in Mind: How Contemporary Images Shape Thought. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Burnett, R. (2004) How Images Think. Massachusetts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cobley, P. (2001) Narrative. London, Routeledge. Cotton, C. (2004) The Photograph as Contemporary Art. London, Thames & Hudson. Greenfield, S (2009) ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century. London, Sceptre. Manghani, S. Et al. (eds) Images: A Reader. London, Sage Publications. Romanyshyn, R. (1993) in Manghani, S. Et al. (eds) Images: A Reader. London, Sage Publications. Pp. 183-188.