to dooverview of images, power, and politicssemioticssemiologyrepresentationdiscourse
practices of looking• looking entails implicit relationships of power• consciously and unconsciously• these practices affect how we comprehend objects, people, or events and subsequently how we interpret them• images then can be understood from a number of levels and a number of different ways• these practices intersect and form the ways in which we look and understand, the economy of looking• within the world in which we live we are bombarded by a number of different images which convey a wide range of emotions - these images can mean a number of different things to a no of different people• examples...
Weegee (Arthur Fellig)Their First MurderAmerican, New York City, October 9, 1941; print, about 1950Gelatin silver print10 1/8 x 11 in.86.XM.4.6The J. Paul Getty Museum
• "A woman relative cried...but neighborhood dead-end kids enjoyed the show when a small-time racketeer was shot and killed," wrote Weegee in the caption accompanying this startling photograph in his 1945 publication Naked City. On the facing page Weegee showed the bloody body lying in the street. Alternately laughing, staring in disbelief, or looking into the camera to grasp their own momentary chance to be recorded, the children who had witnessed this grisly scene form an unsettling amalgam of human emotion and self-absorption. Two women are among the group: one, whom Weegee mentioned above, stands at the center, her face contorted with anguished tears, her personal loss turned into public spectacle.
representation• ...to the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us• we use words to understand, describe, and deﬁne the world as we see it• this happens through systems, i.e. oral and written language, visual language, sign systems, etc• languages’ follow a series of rules and conventions• same can be said for visual objects, ﬁlm, narratives there are a number of rules which they follow• 2 methods that are helpful here are semiotics and linguistics
Representation is the production of the meaning of the concepts in ourminds through language. It is the link between concepts and languagewhich enables us to refer to either the real world of objects, people orevents, or indeed to imaginary worlds of fictional objects, people andevents.
"Still Life with Dralas", by Marion Peck, is a limited edition, signed and numbered giclee print on archival, cotton rag, art pap
What one must paint is the image of resemblance—if thought is tobecome visible in the world. —Rene Magritte
Visual signs: are called iconic signsThey have a resemblance to the object, person, in their form, a certain resemblance to the object, person or event to which they referSo a photo of a sheep reproduces some of the conditions of our visual perception
Visual signs: are called iconic signsThey have a resemblance to the object, person, in their form, a certain resemblance to the object, person or event to which they referSo a photo of a sheep reproduces some of the conditions of our away from the flock (1994) visual perception iconic signs
S.H.E.E.P.Written or spoken signs are indexical signsThey have no obvious relationship to the things in which they refer –this makes their relationship arbitrary
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991)
-•1) framing of the image: to make known, to conﬁrm, or give testimony to others•2) construction of given moments through time and space speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves – refugee ﬂows, jail photographs – they speak for people – serving as a form of social documentary – being able to inﬂuence the viewers perception plays an integral role•representational legitimacy plays a key role in the validity of documentary photography and this is based on what we just talked about ﬁrst, witnessing of events and 2) the modes of presentation: how they are used to illustrate a point in a newspaper, magazine etc.
susan sontag: on photography• 1997 collection os essay in the NY Rev of Books from 1973-77• discusses the role of photography in capitalist societies• to photograph is to appropriate the object/subject of the image• one is put in relation not only to the object itself but in relation to it - this relationship causes alienation. people ﬁnd themselves inhabiting the world of printed images.• argument: photography has perpetuated a attitude of anti-interventionism, i.e. war photography• as we cannot process the images we see or their recording so we lose the context• here photography is understood as having a particular relationship with politics