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Reading Images


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Lecture for Gender and the Media

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Reading Images

  1. 1. Reading the Image
  2. 2. Wynn Bullock
  3. 3. Arena, Valencia, Spain, 1933 Cartier-Bresson
  4. 4. Matisse, 1944 Cartier-Bresson
  5. 5. Cartier-Bresson Seville, Spain 1933
  6. 6. Cartier-Bresson <ul><li>Srinager, Kashmir,1944 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Bruce Davidson <ul><li> </li></ul>
  8. 8. Photos: The Standard of the Beautiful <ul><li> </li></ul>So successful has been the camera's role in beautifying the world that photographs, rather than the world, have become the standard of the beautiful. Susan Sontag
  9. 9. Susan Sontag <ul><li>As photographs give people an imaginary possession of a past that is unreal, they also help people to take possession of space in which they are insecure. Thus, photography develops in tandem with one of the most characteristic of modern activities: TOURISM. </li></ul><ul><li>A way of certifying experience, taking photographs is also a way of refusing it - by limiting experience to search for the photogenic , by converting experience into an image , a souvenir. </li></ul><ul><li>The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Grand Canyon <ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 11. We are surrounded by photographic images which constitute a global system of misinformation: the system known as publicity, proliferating consumerist lies. The role of photography in this system is revealing. The lie is constructed before the camera. A “tableau” of objects and figures is assembled. This “tableau” uses a language of symbols (often inherited from oil painting), an implied narrative and, frequently, some kind of performance by models with a sexual content. This “tableau” is then photographed. It is photographed precisely because the camera can bestow authenticity upon any set of appearances, however false. John Berger, Another Way of Telling pp. 96-7
  12. 12. <ul><li>Bouguereau, Adolphe-William, The Birth of Venus, 1879,Oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay, Paris </li></ul>