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.

Author: Samukree Nasar
Country: Mozambique
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Software
Published (Last): 8 October 2010
Pages: 293
PDF File Size: 6.70 Mb
ePub File Size: 15.93 Mb
ISBN: 485-7-84923-857-7
Downloads: 95161
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Douramar

You are commenting using your WordPress. 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. Sontag holds that to take a picture is to assign importance. She offered, Sontag holds, the enjoyment of high-art’s overcoming disgust.

She shows that Diane Arbus’ work is mostly a result of her own voluntary consciousness. Reading quotes from Arbus on the internet, I notice that her ideas througg the work only reflect Sontag’s in part. You are commenting using your Twitter account. For example, the boy might have just been frightened while playing outside, giving him the awkward smile and unkept appearance.

On Photography – America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly Summary & Analysis

Sontag cites Walt Whitman’s work as evidence of an emerging trend in democratizing all aspects of art. Sontag also argued that the context shapes the interpretation of the photograph. Arbus photographed the “miserable consciousness” of marginal people who submitted themselves willingly to her camera. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Xmerica chapter of the monograph focuses nearly exclusively on American cultural development phootographs the late s and early s.

Susan Sontag: On Photography; America: Seen Through Photographs, Darkly

Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google. What are my inner drives and convictions to take photographs and how much do I let these drives rule the outcomes, or am I still working from other people’s examples, or ideas of how photos are supposed to be taken?


Diane Arbus’ work is a pure example of this shift. It was definitely an interesting read, because it profiled a photographer who basically challenged the purpose of art. According to Sontag Arbus is not an ethical photojournalist, nor does she show any moral values in her work.

America, seen through photographs, darkly / Susan Sontag

There’s a ameruca from both sides that determine the look of the photograph, although the photographer always has the last say in what is portrayed. This site uses cookies. America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly.

Sontag argues that photography has gradually evolved from depicting idealized images to idealizing depicted images.

The Heroism of Vision. The different representations of these women convey the completely different views of what a photograph should be aesthetically and thematically. Stieglitz wished to transcend differences between human being and show humanity in the totality of its beauty. Newer Post Older Post Home. Arbus was reacting against the status quo in all senses: Thompson, Van Gogh and everyone else who ended their lives leaving behind an admirable body of work.

Browse all BookRags Study Guides. There is obviously a clash of misunderstanding going on and not a willingness to open up to each other. Rosie the Riveter Image About Me. View the Lesson Plans. 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.

She starts off with the vision of Walt Whitman who rejected the distinction between beautiful and ugly for a cause of seeing America united in perception. If all of that sounds complicated, it is. 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.

This kind of “photographer as character” was meant to shock audiences and react against the perception of cultural normality. Maybe that’s why her photographs don’t arouse a certain compassion for the subjects, it seems irrelevant to have any feelings towards them at all.


I had already planned to write a blog post about Diane Arbus and been looking at her images, read a few websites etc, when I stumbled on the chapter ‘America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly’ in Susan Sontag’s ‘On Photography’. View the Study Pack. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Keep up the good work! Posted by greatsofthewest at 1: So first I’d like to discuss this chapter and how Sontag describes whether photography is a private vision versus a reflection of reality.

Arbus seems to have focused more on the experience of the photographer than on the actual subject of the photograph. In some images I read a direct reaction to Arbus’ on the subjects faces. The thrill of observing Arbus’s work is the success of observing them without impedance.

Newer Post Amerkca Post Home. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Arbus based on what I know from this essay, but that is why it’s always a good idea to become familiar sewn an artist’s photpgraphs before becoming familiar with their ideology. 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.

Immediately after presenting this argument, however, Sontag brings up the work of Diane Arbus, whose work Sontag describes as “anti-humanist. Copyrights On Photography from BookRags. Knowing too much about the latter can cloud appreciation of the former. Get On Photography from Amazon.

The essay focuses on the effects of photographs on the perceived importance of their subjects. 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.

Related Posts