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Cat 2 notes - Cat 2 Notes Representation/Visions of War...

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Cat 2 Notes: Representation/Visions of War , Monday Week 1 Unrepresentable quality of war, violence, and pain Henry James: “The war has used up words, they have weakened, they have deteriorated.” Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others -25 years later, revisiting ideas from her book on Photography (1977) Photos continued to shock but don’t help us understand After camera’s invention in 1839, the “picture taking” superceded “any verbal account in conveying the horror of mass-produced death” from World Wars (24). Visuality of War: War’s weaponization of visibility and invisibility (exposure and concealment) Sontag, Regarding Pains of Others: Camera=gun: “‘Shooting a subject [camera] and shooting a human being a gun. Photography of War Sontag: photos of violent death and dying nearly as popular as naked pictures. Photographs objectivity: they turn an event or person into something that can be possessed” (81). Gruesome photos position the viewer as a passive spectator. Taking vs. Making: Sontag “ordinary language fixes the difference between handmade images like Goya’s and photographs by the convention that artists ‘make’ drawings and paintings. While photographic images... cannot be simply a transparency of something. Problems of War Representation, materiality, how images are produced/captured and how they are consumed/circulated Email: [email protected] Mirrors and Mimesis Materiality of War Images any image is created by a person and has subjectivity, circulates freely that we forget that the photograph is created by someone intervention the artist makes -”subjectivity of the image-maker” (Sontag 26)- the artistry and intervention of the photographer (make vs take). All images are made if you think about the subjectivity Circulation of photographs through media and technology -”parked” in front of the little screens” (Sontag 116) we could surf images easily and spread of the news is everywhere (an illusion) -Images “weigh differently” depending on their medium and mode of transmission (Sontag 120) Once images get on the internet they could be placed in any context, are not reverential, there is no way to guarantee reverential conditions, capacity to be treated as a spectacle, something that is distance and you are free to watch and ignore torturing of Americans in Iraqi War, photograph that shocked our national identity face is covered, dehumanizes him, shows details of why torture is devastating dead terrorist and smiling American, victorious, to show face of death is defilement War photography is suppose to be unmasking the violence in war Faces, markers of the horrors of war and the way it impacts humans
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We want to understand war vs. what subject should be represented War creates enemies and the point is to demean the enemy, and have a sense of accomplishment, and document it (take pictures) How was it taken? How was it circulated? Why did people post it? They share different intentions and
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