Project 2 Notes

Martha roster, In, Around and Afterthoughts (On Documentary Photography)

The expose ́ , compassion and dedication to reform has given way to ‘. . . exoticism, tourism, voyeurism . . . trophy hunting-and careerism’ 

(p. 307). 

‘Like scratching an itch, it relieves the conscience of its viewers and reassures them about their financial and social position. ‘

‘historical romances’ 

allowing for the sentimental myth of the Indian to develop as opposed to the negative view of the immigrant. 

had to be turned into a ‘documentary photograph’, had to have ‘believability’, had to ‘look authentic’. 

Rosler asks ‘What happened to the man (actually, men) in the photo? The question is inappropriate when the subject is photographs. And photographers. The subject of the article is the photographer’ 

Associated Press quoted her ‘That’s my picture hanging all over the world, and I can’t get a penny out of it.’ 

For Rosler, Mrs Thompson’s case illustrates how documentary photographs have ‘. . . two moments: (1) the ‘‘immediate,’’ instrumental one . . . arguing for or against a social practice and its ideological–theoretical supports, and (2) the conventional ‘‘aesthetic-historical’’ moment . . . in which the viewer’s argumentiveness cedes to the . . . pleasure afforded by the aesthetic ‘‘rightness’’. . . of the image’ (p. 317). 

As a result debates about photography have shifted to the right and revolve around formal aesthetic considerations ignoring the content and political
or ideological dimension of the images. 

Abigail Solomon – Godeau, Inside/Out

Sontag sees her as a morbid voyeur 

(Arbus)

Sontag’s and Rosler’s perspectives, the documentary photographer, the tourist etc. commits an act of violence against, and takes something from the subject, while only seeing a partial and probably distorted view of the subject. 

Goldin points out that the people in her photographs regard her camera as a part of her

Goldin’s insider position results in images that show the subject as the subject would like to be seen, however these photographs resemble fashion photographs of the time and show no structural difference from such photographs 

This is done in two ways, firstly so effectively as to undermine the division between the genders, and secondly, in a disturbing way in which the subject shows signs of both genders. 

Whether photography can represent the truth and reality depends on whether truth and reality can be represented. 

If, as some philosophers claim, reality is always known through representational systems, the question is then on what grounds can it be said that photography is inadequate in representing the real? 

This alienation, being on the outside is perceived to guarantee the artists, integrity and perception. 

Martha roster, In, Around and Afterthoughts (On Documentary Photography)

The expose ́ , compassion and dedication to reform has given way to ‘. . . exoticism, tourism, voyeurism . . . trophy hunting-and careerism’ 

(p. 307). 

‘Like scratching an itch, it relieves the conscience of its viewers and reassures them about their financial and social position. ‘

‘historical romances’ 

allowing for the sentimental myth of the Indian to develop as opposed to the negative view of the immigrant. 

had to be turned into a ‘documentary photograph’, had to have ‘believability’, had to ‘look authentic’. 

Rosler asks ‘What happened to the man (actually, men) in the photo? The question is inappropriate when the subject is photographs. And photographers. The subject of the article is the photographer’ 

Associated Press quoted her ‘That’s my picture hanging all over the world, and I can’t get a penny out of it.’ 

For Rosler, Mrs Thompson’s case illustrates how documentary photographs have ‘. . . two moments: (1) the ‘‘immediate,’’ instrumental one . . . arguing for or against a social practice and its ideological–theoretical supports, and (2) the conventional ‘‘aesthetic-historical’’ moment . . . in which the viewer’s argumentiveness cedes to the . . . pleasure afforded by the aesthetic ‘‘rightness’’. . . of the image’ (p. 317). 

As a result debates about photography have shifted to the right and revolve around formal aesthetic considerations ignoring the content and political
or ideological dimension of the images. 

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