Beginning his essay, André Bazin dives right into the practice of embalming, how ancient Egyptians used to mummify bodies and keep them. GLA Fall Take Home Mid-term Assignment Santosh Kumar Korthiwada Instructor: Lisa Levine The Ontology of the Photographic Image – by. “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” examines how the plastic arts preserve humans and reality through representation. Photography.

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Historiography This is what Walter Benjamin argued about photography and film. Now interestingly enough, what is signified by a mirage, is actually water. Photography tricks us because its mechanical nature seems objective and reproduces the model.

Jamie L. Brummitt, PhD

Bazin may have argued, however, that the counter-position — that photography is not objective — incorrectly translates his proper position. In fact, this is what Bazin seems to argue when he suggests that they are hallucinations. When these theories are put into practice, as you suggest, they have to flex to take account of all the variations and modes to which filmmakers can apply the apparatus. I disagree if he meant it in literal sense.

He states that there is a basic psychological need in man kmage outwit time and preserving a bodily appearance is fulfilling this desire. According to Bazin, today no one recognizes the ontological link between the body and a representation: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

Again, the essential factor in the transition from the baroque to photography is not the perfecting of a physical process photography will long remain the inferior of painting in the reproduction of colour ; rather does it lie in a psychological ontlogy, to wit, in completely satisfying our appetite for illusion by a mechanical reproduction in the making of which man plays no part.

André Bazin, “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” () – Jamie L. Brummitt, PhD

In my answer to Question 2, I had mentioned that Bazin was a contemporary to Diane Arbus and though he was born 5 years before Diane, he died of leukemia at an young age of 40 years and seven months. The idea no longer exists. This left painting torn between two ambitions—the expression of spiritual reality and symbol and the desire for duplication of the world around us.


Bazin certainly leverages that formula and it is a common understanding or misunderstandingthat the photographic image is an image of that which is understood to have caused the image. Photography and the cinema on the other hand are discoveries that satisfy, once and for all and in its very essence, our obsession with realism. Links Peter Matthews puts up a strong defence of Bazin here.

Back to Bazin Part 1: The Ontology of the Photographic Image

To Bazin photography makes us see the world anew. Photography and cinema replicates the physically real without the barrier that one encounters when admiring a painting or sculpture.

Imate of course that is impossible. Summary In ancient Egypt the plastic arts, like statuary, were substitutes for dead bodies. Back to Bazin Part II: You onology commenting using your Twitter account.

A comprehension takes place in relation to a given image and one may or may not project that comprehension as the cause of the image. He is that great advocate of the photographic image. Painting could not escape the subjectivity of the artists because true likeness could not be achieved through the human hand.

The machine automaton became important in such. To preserve, artificially, his bodily appearance is to snatch it from the flow of time, to stow it away neatly, so to speak, in the hold of life. Bazij this issue, Bazin has been superseded by decades of critical theory and criticism that have demolished notions of an objective reality that can be represented truthfully. This objectivity and reality are a product of impassive mechanical reproduction.


In achieving the aims of baroque art, photography has freed the plastic arts from their obsession with likeness. However I believe that this point is too harsh.

In Platos version of the world it is the relationship between things that is ontologgy whereas the things themselves are not.

It is not the I that speaks. Painting and sculpture could aesthetically and emotionally capture the object but failed, in comparison with photography, to capture the physical characteristics of an object.

Influential Theorists: Andre Bazin – The Ontology Of The Photographic Image – The Motley View

It was meant to awaken people from a false reality and a false consciousness. This objectivity and realism, however, are only constructions of the mechanical processes of photography. Bazin continues to explain that the desire to see reality, though it is merely an illusion created via painting, is a mental need and realism in art is caught between the aesthetic and a deception aimed at fooling the eye.

Help Center Find new research papers in: It is the Form which is real because eternal, universal, infinite, etc Now Bazin is not interested in the relationship between shots but in the shots themselves.

Photography and cinema are plastic realisms. Photography affects us like a phenomenon in nature, like a flower or a snowflake whose vegetable or earthly origins are an inseparable ontologt of their beauty. But he knows there is something there.

No matter how skillful the painter, his work was always in fee to an inescapable subjectivity. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here For Bazin, the tricks of photography phootgraphic film have no moral affects.