For instance, this photo-graph by Dorothea Lange depicts a woman, who is also apparently a mother, during the California migration of the 1930s. This photograph is regarded as an iconic image of the Great Depression in the United States. It is famous because it evokes both the despair and the perseverance of those who sur-vived the hardships of that time. Yet the image gains much of its meaning from its implicit reference to the history of artistic depictions of women and their children, such as Madonna and child images, and its difference from them. This mother is hardly a nurturing figure. She is distracted. Her children cling--- Page 29 ---Underline (red), 2013-01-14 10:59 AM:to her and burden her thin frame. She looks not at her children but outward as if toward her future—one seemingly with little promise. This image derives its meaning largely from a viewer's knowledge of the historical moment it rep-resents. At the same time, it makes a statement about the complex role of motherhood that is informed by its traditional representation. Like the earlier images, this photograph denotes a mother with children, but it casts this social relationship in terms of hunger, poverty, struggle, loss, and strength. Thus, it can be read in a number of waysDorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" Photographs in the Farm Security Administration Collection: An OverviewThe photograph that has become known as "Migrant Mother" is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. Lange was concluding a month's trip photographing migratory farm labor around the state for what was then the Resettlement Administration. In 1960, Lange gave this account of the experience:I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it. (From: Popular Photography, Feb. 1960). The images were made using a Graflex camera. The original negatives are 4x5" film. It is not possible to determine on the basis of the negative numbers (which were assigned later at the Resettlement Administration) the order in which the photographs were taken.There are no known restrictions on the use of Lange's "Migrant Mother" images. A rights statement for the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information black-and-white negatives is available online at: http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/071_fsab.html. In March 1936, after picking beets, Thompson and her family were traveling on US Highway 101 towards Watsonville in hopes of finding more work. On the road, the car timing chain snapped and they coasted to a stop just inside a pea-picker's camp on Nipomo Mesa. While Jim Hill, her husband, and two of Thompson's sons took the radiator, which had also been damaged, to town for repair, Thompson and some of the children set up a temporary camp. As Thompson waited, Dorothea Lange, working for the Resettlement Administration, drove up and started taking photos of Florence and her family. Over 10 minutes she took 6 images.Lange's field notes of the images read:"Seven hungry children. Father is native Californian. Destitute in pea pickers’ camp … because of failure of the early pea crop. These people had just sold their tires to buy food." Lange later wrote of the meeting:"I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was 32. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food." However, Thompson claimed that Lange never asked her any questions and got many of the details incorrect. Troy Owens recounted:"There's no way we sold our tires, because we didn't have any to sell. The only ones we had were on the Hudson and we drove off in them. I don't believe Dorothea Lange was lying, I just think she had one story mixed up with another. Or she was borrowing to fill in what she didn't have." Thompson also claimed that Lange promised the photos would never be published, but Lange sent them to the San Francisco News as well as to the Resettlement Administration in Washington, D.C. The News ran the pictures almost immediately, with an assertion that 2,500 to 3,500 migrant workers were starving in Nipomo, California. Within days, the pea-picker camp received 20,000 pounds of food from the federal government. However, Thompson and her family had moved on by the time the food arrived and were working near Watsonville, California.While Thompson's identity was not known for over forty years after the photos were taken, the images became famous. The sixth image especially, which later became known as Migrant Mother, "has achieved near mythical status, symbolizing, if not defining, an entire era in [United States] history." Roy Stryker called Migrant Mother the "ultimate" photo of the Depression Era. "[Lange] never surpassed it. To me, it was the picture … The others were marvelous, but that was special ... . She is immortal." As a whole, the photographs taken for the Resettlement Administration "have been widely heralded as the epitome of documentary photography." Edward Steichen described them as "the most remarkable human documents ever rendered in pictures." Later, however, the photographer was criticized for taking inaccurate notes.It was only in the late 1970s that Thompson's identity was discovered. In 1978, acting on a tip, Modesto Bee reporter Emmett Corrigan located Thompson at her mobile home in Space 24 of the Modesto Mobile Village and recognized her from the 40-year-old photograph. A letter Thompson wrote was published in The Modesto Bee and the Associated Press sent a story around entitled "Woman Fighting Mad Over Famous Depression Photo." Florence was quoted as saying "I wish she [Lange] hadn't taken my picture. I can't get a penny out of it. She didn't ask my name. She said she wouldn't sell the pictures. She said she'd send me a copy. She never did."Lange was funded by the federal government when she took the picture, so the image was in the public domain and Lange never directly received any royalties. However, the picture did ultimately make Lange a celebrity and earned her "respect from her colleagues".In an interview with CNN, Thompson's daughter, Katherine McIntosh, recalled how her mother was a "very strong lady", and "the backbone of our family". She said that "We never had a lot, but she always made sure we had something. She didn't eat sometimes, but she made sure us children ate. That's one thing she did do."Rediscovering Migrant MotherWhile the image was being prepared for exhibit in 1941, the negative of the famous photo was retouched to remove Florence's thumb in the lower-right corner of the image. In the late 1960s, Bill Hendrie found the original Migrant Mother photograph and 31 other vintage, untouched photos by Dorothea Lange in a dumpster at the San Jose Chamber of Commerce. After the death of Hendrie and his wife, their daughter, Marian Tankersley, rediscovered the photos while emptying her parents' San Jose home. In 1998, the retouched photo of Migrant Mother became a 32-cent U.S. Postal Service stamp in the 1930s Celebrate the Century series. The stamp printing was unusual since daughters Katherine McIntosh (on the left in the stamp) and Norma Rydlewski (in Thompson's arms in the stamp) were alive at the time of the printing and "It is very uncommon for the Postal Service to print stamps of individuals who have not been dead for at least 10 years."In the same month the U.S. stamp was issued, a print of the photograph with Lange's handwritten notes and signature sold in 1998 for $244,500 at Sotheby's New York. In November 2002, Dorothea Lange's personal print of Migrant Mother sold at Christie's New York for $141,500. In October 2005, an anonymous buyer paid $296,000 at Sotheby's New York for the rediscovered 32 vintage, untouched Lange photos—nearly six times the pre-bid estimate.
The Special Handling Unit is Canada's highest super-maximum security prison. It is located in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec. As of 2008, it is home to 90 prisoners. It is nicknamed The SHU (pronounced 'shoe').The PresidioModelo was a "model prison" of Panopticon design, built on the former Isla de Pinos (now the Isla de la Juventud) in Cuba.The prison was built under the dictator Gerardo Machado in the period 1926–1931, and held 6000 prisoners.Most of the survivors of the rebel attacks on Moncada Barracks and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes garrisons, including Fidel Castro, were imprisoned there from 1953 to 1955.The prison now serves as a museum and is declared a National Monument, and the old administration building now serves as a school and research center for young people.
The movie is framed around the television show "The Truman Show." Its main character, Truman Burbank, has lived his entire life since before birth in front of cameras for the show, though he himself is unaware of this fact. Truman's life is filmed through thousands of hidden cameras, 24 hours a day and broadcast live around the world, allowing executive producer Christof to capture Truman's real emotion and human behavior when put in certain situations. Truman's hometown of Seahaven is a complete set built under a giant dome and populated by the show's actors and crew, allowing Christof to control every aspect of Truman's life, even the weather. To prevent Truman from discovering his false reality, Christof has invented means of dissuading his sense of exploration, including "killing" his father in a storm while on a fishing trip to instill in him a fear of the water. However, despite Christof's control, Truman has managed to behave in unexpected manners, in particular falling in love with an extra, Sylvia, instead of Meryl, the actress intended to be his wife. Though Sylvia is removed from the set quickly, her memory still resonates with him, and he secretly thinks of her outside of his marriage to Meryl. Sylvia subsequently starts a "Free Truman" campaign that fights to have Truman freed from the show.In the film's present, during the 30th year "The Truman Show" has been on the air, Truman discovers facts that seem out of place, such as a spotlight that nearly hits him (quickly passed off by local radio as an airplane's dislodged landing light) and a "Truman Show" crew conversation on his car radio that is describing his morning commute into work. These events are punctuated by the reappearance of Truman's father, supposedly "dead," onto the set, at first dressed as a hobo. All of this causes Truman to start wondering about his life, realizing much of the town seems to revolve around him. Stress on Meryl to continue her role in spite of Truman's increasing skepticism and attendant hostility causes their marriage to unravel. Truman seeks to get away from Seahaven but is blocked by the inability to arrange for flights, bus breakdowns, sudden masses of traffic, and an apparent nuclear meltdown. After Meryl breaks down and is taken off the show, Christof officially brings back Truman's father, hoping his presence will keep Truman from trying to leave. However, he only provides a temporary respite: Truman soon becomes isolated and begins staying alone in his basement after Meryl "leaves" him. One night, Truman manages to escape the basement undetected via a secret tunnel, forcing Christof to temporarily suspend broadcasting of the show for the first time in its history. This causes a surge in viewership, with many viewers, including Sylvia, cheering on Truman's escape attempt.Christof orders every actor and crew member to search the town, breaking the town's daylight cycle to help in the search. They find that Truman has managed to overcome his fear of the water and has been sailing away from the town in a small boat named Santa Maria (the name of the ship in which Christopher Columbus discovered the New World). After restoring the broadcast, Christof orders the show's crew to create a large storm to try to capsize the boat. However, Truman's determination eventually leads Christof to terminate the storm. As Truman recovers, the boat reaches the edge of the dome, its bow piercing through the dome's painted sky. An awe-struck Truman then discovers a flight of stairs nearby, leading to a door marked "exit". As he contemplates leaving his world, Christof speaks directly to Truman via a powerful sound system, trying to persuade him to stay and arguing that there is no more truth in the real world than there is in his own, artificial world. Truman, after a moment's thought, delivers his catchphrase, "In case I don't see you ... good afternoon, good evening, and good night," bows to his audience, and steps through the door and into the real world. The assembled television viewers excitedly celebrate Truman's escape, and Sylvia quickly leaves her apartment to reunite with him. A network executive orders the crew to cease transmission. With the show completed, members of Truman's former audience are shown looking for something else to watch.
Visual Culture: spectatorship, power and knowledge
Why do we put so much believe and power in
Why we allow image to exercise power of
indoctrination and persuasion over us?
What make images so fascinating and so
attractive for the viewers?
It is not enough to experience world around us.
We need to be able to represent it
Cartesian (from Descartes) understanding of
the world emphasizes the power and centrality
of the individual.
Subject or Individual is the central figure of
Separation between infant and his
Acquisition of the sense of self
The toddler is over optimistic about his abilities
Result the conflict between the actual subject and
the subjects sense of self.
1. the roles of the unconscious and desire in
2. the role of looking the formation of the
human subjects as such
3. the ways that looking is always a relational
activity and not simply a mental activity.
Significance of Las Meninas
Unstable system of representation
Gaze and power changes depending on the
position, and subjects awareness
Gaze or look is always dialogical, e.g. the gaze is
always returned even by objects
Proves the ideas of interpellation-through the gaze
or look the object can interpellate the human subject
as message: a call, an address, an appeal.
Discourse of madness
Discourse of gender
Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a
state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the
automatic functioning of power.
The inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which
they are themselves the bearers.
To achieve this, it is at once too much and too little that the
prisoner should be constantly observed by an inspector: too
little, for what matters is that he knows himself to be observed; too
much, because he has no need in fact of being so.
Edward Sheriff Curtis, The North American
Indian, ca. 1903.
The power of binary oppositions
center / margins
normal / deviant
natural / unnatural
self / other
truth / fiction
The painting is an icon: a generic and
seemingly timeless signifier of classical female
Outside of changing tastes and conventions
Timeless and recognized fact
Mirror constructs the self
The self as an organized and whole entity
imitates the image in the mirror.
Mirror can be an image
The self organizes its identity around the
images that are being shown.
Film =suspense of the disbelief
Film is like a dream, when watching we are
allowed to project our forbidden
Identifications with the hero
Eye and gaze are split
Eye (I) is mistaking realization that one is
Gaze seeks unification with the other
The final paper (aprox. 8 pages plus bibliography) will
analyze an object (artwork, advertisement, video, movie
still, or film) not reproduced in the textbook and not covered
in the lectures. The work will be discussed in terms of
material covered in the course. You will be expected to bring
in at least four other images, objects, or other materials that
constitute visual culture with similar subject matter or
function for comparison. At least one of your comparisons
must date from before 1900, one must be from no earlier
than 1950, and one must be from a culture other than
Europe or the United States (Global North). Readings from
the course and original research will be used to elucidate the
subject you have chosen. Bibliography should include at
least 7 academic sources excluding the textbook.