Thursday, October 1, 2009

reader response: representation and truth

Weegee and Emmett Till

The image by Weegee, The First Murder {of which the actual title is Their First Murder} is more powerful to me than viewing the murder victim. Note in the version I have posted that there are two people shown on the right that were cropped from the version in our book.

As we discussed in class, the Punctum is strong and the different faces and emotions within do grab my attention. That he chose to render his subject in the high contrasts of black and white lends an even stronger atmosphere to this photograph. I found it interesting that I feel more emotion when I view this photograph than the infamous shot of Emmett Till in his casket. As a side note, I was impressed with Weegee's innovative mobile darkroom in the trunk of his Chevy!

Henri-Horace Roland de la Porte: more still life works

As an Art History major I've studied the works of the 17-18th century Dutch realism painters. The layers of symbolism are part of the cultural context and the artists version of "snapshots" from their period in time. Because of my former studies, the original Still Life by Henri-Horace holds as much meaning for me as the modern take-off by Marion Peck.

Robert Frank: The Americans

We spent a fair amount of time discussing the truthfulness of photography. I struggle with this kind of discussion. I understand the point that a photo can be altered both before and after it is produced but I don't look at photographs as something of solidity.

To me, a photograph is just as fleeting as the moment that is captured within it. The truth of a photograph is no different than the truth of a drawing, painting or sculpture. Each contains an element of the human who created it--whether added before or after the creation. Images are powerful. They do wield an influence but since we all filter any form of communication through our own values and experiences, I don't believe that an image can hold sway on the ultimate decisions we choose to make on any given subject.

Images from The Americans by Robert Frank.

View more info and images here.


1 comment:

  1. i love the dudes look...the skinnnnny cowboy dude....thats what we call a taaaall drink of water.


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