Background: Susan Sontag was a famous essay writer as well as an experimental novelist, short story writer, film writer, director, and photographer. Her work. Susan Sontag: On Photography; America: Seen Through Photographs, Darkly It was stressed by Sontag to compare Diane Arbus’ Woman With a Veil on Fifth Avenue and Lartigue’s Racecourse at Nice America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly As Susan Sontag observed in her essay – which gives its title to that of the conference – the work of many of the.

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With Lartigue, the women are staring off into the distance and sort of romanticized and implied as being beautiful even though their faces are not shown in the photograph. For now is most important to realize how quickly I’m influenced by different point of views and that also a critique is never objective and always made from a certain paradigm which might not even be suitable for making claims about the art that is discussed.

Whitman’s cultural and social influence is termed “Whitmanesque” in the text and can be summarized as a desire to see beyond beauty and ugliness into the essential value of a person or object.

While the Whitman heritage strove for a universalization of the human condition, Arbus fractured this unity into isolated fragments of anxiety.

Sontag argues that Arbus’ views do not necessarily clash with Whitman’s, however, because they both “rule out a historical understanding of reality” by depicting things that are different from what is typically perceived of as “normal. The thrill of observing Arbus’s work is the success of observing them without impedance. Arbus chose to photograph only people and photogaphs that were seemingly out of the ordinary such as the woman in the wheelchair with the mask or the boy with the awkward smile.

However, some photographers have deviated from this trend and began photographing subjects that seem less than beautiful to the viewer. View the Lesson Plans. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

America, seen through photographs, darkly / Susan Sontag

View a FREE sample. In one part of the essay, Sontag stated that the “weird” or “ugly” people photographed did not show signs of pain or despair like the people that were seemingly normal in photographs. The price of this shift is that photography does not serve as ‘a liberation, but as a subtraction from the self’. Questions to ask myself: Sontag cites Walt Whitman’s work as evidence of an emerging trend in democratizing all aspects of art.

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Her view was complex, highly individual, perhaps a little perverse, but never perverted – a sad moving testament to the human condition. The essay focuses on the effects of photographs on the perceived importance of their subjects. Immediately after presenting this argument, however, Sontag brings up the work of Diane Arbus, whose work Sontag describes as “anti-humanist.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: View the Study Pack. At one point, Sontag describes Arbus’ ideology as viewing the photographer as a kind of “supertourist,” only briefly visiting the world of the weird and not attempting to give it any context within the rest of society. The majority of people in this film actually have something seriously wrong with them physically. In other words, photography has gradually equalized all of the things it depicts so that beauty can be found in any image.

In some images I read a direct reaction to Arbus’ on the subjects faces. But as photography developed more and more artistic interest was directed to the less-glorified, banal and casual aspects of American life, the realization Whitman’s vision. Notify me of new comments via email. She offered, Sontag holds, the enjoyment of high-art’s overcoming disgust.

Being attracted to the subject is different than being attracted to a photograph. Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google. Knowing too much about the latter can cloud appreciation of the former.

Thompson, Van Gogh and everyone else who ended their lives leaving behind an admirable body of work. Susan Sontag describes Arbus way of photography as a colonization of new experiences, finding a new way to look at familiar subjects, a fight against boredom. It is clear that Sontag knows Arbus’ work well. Her work is an escape from boredom, a drive to explore the reality that she missed in her upperclass Jewish upbringing.

michele’s blog: Sontag’s “America Seen Through Photographs, Darkly”

Copyrights On Photography from BookRags. As sonhag are more exposed to shocking things, the element of shock decreases, thus allowing more acceptance on the part of the viewer.

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This is for Sontxg a trend of high art in capitalist counties, the suppression of over-selectiveness in matters of morals and aesthetics. I wouldn’t say I agreed with all of Arbus’ ideas. Seen pictured here is a man with no limbs who manages to get around just fine, shave and even lights a cigarette and smokes in one scene.

You are commenting using your WordPress. So first I’d like to discuss this chapter and how Sontag describes whether photography is a private vision versus a reflection of reality. Isn’t it that the most important aspect of her photography was to get the subjects to look weird, estranged? Sontag also argued that the context shapes the interpretation of the photograph. How can I develop a way of thinking critically when reading these kind of texts and looking at art?

In its conclusion it says: Arbus seems to have focused more on the experience of the photographer than on the actual subject of the photograph. I do agree with all of these concepts I have extracted from Sontag’s essay, and I believe Arbus is a powerful example to use to illustrate these ideas of “there is beauty in everything” and “context is important in interpreting”.

Whitman’s view was challenged and, the text argues, entirely defeated, mostly by accident, by photography. It projects an image with which we do not fall in love with the aesthetics or the romanticismbut we fall in love with the curious investigation of the sad, pitiable woman in the photograph. For Sontag, Arbus’s work is a reaction against manners and bourgeois good taste, and it is a rebellion against boredom. To Whitman, the trivial was important and it was critical to accept the real.

I should probably have talked more about Arbus’ fascination with photographing “freaks” and the interplay between the artist and his or her work.