Lissitzky and Uellman Photography Essay

Lissitzky and Uellman Photography Essay - Trust in...

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Trust in photography has dwindled since its conception in 1822. People were amazed with the idea of being able to capture a true life image onto a plate, and would take its accuracy for granted. Photographs took the place of paintings in documenting events and historic people, and the idea and reason for editing such a pure image documenting an event or person was foreign. Only when photography entered the consumer market and were mass produced did they begin to be edited. Many postcard printers did not hesitate in editing their photos. Often they would combine skies to make the photo more interesting, or add or remove people or vehicles to update the image. Most photo editing effects currently associated with digital technology were available with film, although it was much more expensive and difficult. El Lissitzky and Jerry Uelsmann are two diverse artists who manipulate photos for very different reasons. Analyzing these two artists provides insight into the apparent lack of trust people interpret in the modern photo. Lazar Markovich Lissitzky, commonly refered to as El Lissitzky, was a Soviet avant-garde artist who experimented in design, architecture, painting, and photography in the 1920's and 1930's. He was part of the Russian Constructivist movement, a group that rejected art for art’s sake, and explored art for practical social reform and purpose. He is famous for his photomontage techniques he developed after the Berlin Dadaists in 1918. Lissitzky was devoted to the idea of creating art with power and purpose; art that could invoke change. Photographs were the ideal medium for creating original, powerful images because they began with something that people perceived as truth. Lissitzky believed in Stalin's socialism because of what he believed to be a disconnect between the individual and collective creativity. As a proponent of a socialist state, Lissitzky believed that an artists success helped represent a countries success, and therefore there should be a collective creativity and shared growth. He commented on the problem with the United States and the capitalism system as not achieving this ideal, because the drive in the West was individual capital, and not political or social
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advancement.
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