photo gaze - Kim1 Intersection among cultural gazes through...

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Kim1 Intersection among cultural gazes through photographs Jugyeong Kim RHET 105 Mr. Karns Photographs are an attractive medium which implies internal values by showing external factors such as the place where the subject is photographed, subject’s gaze and action, and so on. Among those factors, subject’s gaze is especially significant in terms of conveying implied narratives presented in the photograph and multi-perspectives of individuals implying one’s psychology and expressed fundamental sympathy. Implied narratives, however, are ambiguous. . In this context, knowing clear elements presented in the photograph is significant in terms of understanding photographer’s, viewer’s, and subject’s gaze. In this light, not only catching a theme of location and knowing time period but also gazes presented in a photograph are significant in order to uncover photographer’s and subject’s implied narrative. Uncovering implied narrative, viewers perceive identification and difference between themselves and the subject. In that process, viewers could make a connection with the subject or feel disconnected with the subject. The five photographs extracted from the National Geographic website, for instance, mutually form sympathy and individually provide disconnected images. Since these are photographed from different countries but in the same time period, it is effective to create identification and difference in context that how subject’s, photographer’s, and viewer’s gaze interact and convey narratives to give such thoughts and feelings in various perspectives. “Portrait of Sharbat Gual, an Afghan refugee” photographed by Steve McCurry in 1985 depicts one green-eyed Afghan girl in a refugee in Afghanistan. She shows indifferent facial expression but her compressed lips imply that she is feared. She is wearing a red rug and has a dirty face. Even though her appearance is terrible, she doesn’t avoid the camera. She rather
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Kim2 directly stares at it. In my perspective, the photographer intends viewers to catch what the Afghan girl wants to confide. The reason why McCurry rather takes a picture of one girl’s face than brutal war scenes might be that he wants viewers to imagine what the girl has gone through
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2011 for the course RHET 105 taught by Professor Park during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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photo gaze - Kim1 Intersection among cultural gazes through...

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