Gazing At Photographs

Ethics of looking  – shaped by culture / society / patriarchy
What constitutes what is taboo? Scopophylia? / Voyeurism? / Fetishisation?
Jaques Lacan Mirror Stage – fracture creates the Ego (rational self) & the Id (unconscious self)
Wendy McMurdo’s work on child dopplegangers explore Das Unheimlich
Paul M Smith digital manipulation represents the gaze & object which are sometimes the same / morphed into one
Voyeurism about the need to capture and possess and gain power over the object in an idealistic not realistic form
Mary Alpern – Not sexual gratification, but some kind of artistic gratification at capturing another shot for the series. Rear window / surveillance / paparazzi aesthetic
“and minimising the facial detail, and so on, support aristocratic and plutocratic systems of power”

Do these adverts not work on me because I do not suffer guilt for thinking of them as other? I see them as the same as me. Do charities help to normalise disability or perpetuate the myth of them as other in order to gain donations? Shock tactics & guilt will certainly work better in getting money, but does this really help in the long-term?

Sontag “to photograph people is to violate them by seeing them as they have never seen themselves, having knowledge of them they can never have. It turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. “

Vile Bodies

Jenny Saville ‘People’s bodies have become a commodity “ “get a more complex view of what bodies can be like…not necessarily this very strict marketable body that is a commodity…can only be on display in our culture is it conforms to very narrow ideals…presumptions we make about peoples physical appearance…”

John Coplans “you’d better go soon ‘cause you’re in the way of the worship of youth and beauty” “the old naked woman, the old naked man, that’s really taboo – no-one wants to see that” overheard at MoMa “this guys is taking photographs.. in the most truthful way” “culture tells us we’re different from women” “I do these things for my own amusement “ “I want to be (look) as young as I can” “gone beyond photography – its become a sculpture”

Joel Peter Witkin “I’m on the model’s side…it might as well be myself as subject” “beautiful people knowingly have a particular visual persona” “Didn’t feel he was using my disability as a sensational aspect…there is a beauty to deformity if you allow yourself to see it”
“photographing conditions of being” “we no longer honour the body of the church, we honour empty beauty…the quick aesthetic fix of the body in flesh…i want to honour older aspects of suffering

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