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Response

This category contains 29 posts

Filters as Connotation: Barthes and Faux-Vintage

Roland Barthes discusses the myth of the natural sign and its relation to photographs; his text “Rhetoric of the Image” examines exactly the manner in which meaning is able to manifest in the image. However, where Barthes mounts an analysis of an advertisement consisting of images and text, I will examine the trend of imposing … Continue reading

Drawing the punctum to the forefront via Dear Photograph

In Picturing Ourselves: Photography and Autobiography, Linda Rugg describes how Christa Wolf uses the missing photos from her childhood to recreate her past. According to Rugg, “Wolf reenters, reclaims, and rewrites her childhood memories through the photographic frame” (6). Wolf’s tendency to access her past through photographs is not unique – it’s a common trope … Continue reading

Why Publishing Nude Pictures of Yourself Might Not Have the Effect You Intend

Perhaps, if you have heard of “revenge porn,” you have also heard of Emma Holten, a Danish woman who had nude pictures of herself sold to a website by an ex-boyfriend when she was seventeen. Last September she released an article for Friktion magazine about her fight against a system intent on shaming women for … Continue reading

Photographer as salvage archaeologist: A reflection on Susan Sontag and Edward Curtis

Working on separate projects during the early 1900s, Edward Curtis and Adam Vroman both took thousands of photographic images of Indigenous groups in the United States. Edward Curtis did so with the explicit intention of documenting a “vanishing race” of people for preservation in American archives. One New York Times reviewer reflects on this project … Continue reading

Interacting with Otsuka’s autobiographical photos

Photographer Chino Otsuka whose series titled Imagine Finding Me, photo-shops her present-day self into photos from her childhood. I believe some of Smith and Watson’s ways of interacting with life-writing texts can be applied to these photos in a fresh light. Agency As opposed to letting her parents taking the photo, Otsuka gains agency in … Continue reading

Self(ie)-Control: Social Mediation of the Self–A Response

In 1997, Rugg notes that “it does sometimes occur that individuals make photographs of themselves” (3). The occasional occurrence of what is now referred to as a selfie was duly noted in this text: a minor counterargument briefly mentioned.  But in 2015, millions of photos are tagged as “selfies” on social media. We have moved … Continue reading

Re-membering Ourselves Through Photography

In the introduction to her book, Picturing Ourselves: Photography and Autobiography, Linda Rugg outlines the complexities of textual and visual signification within the autobiographical genre. Both photographic and textual autobiographical artifacts complicate the position of the author, and disrupt the subject/object binary. Photographic and textual autobiography transforms the author from subject into both subject and … Continue reading

Response: Smith and Watson and #selfie in South Korea

Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson’s characteristics of the “autobiographical subject” can be applied to the use of selfies in photo sharing apps such as Instagram to construct a narrative bound in cultural beauty standards. Recent news has stated that 70.14% or 35,000,000 people of the South Korean population owns a smartphone. The country, prideful of … Continue reading

Surrealism as a Secret for Success

Given the striking correspondence in language between Amanda Fortini’s analysis of Kim Kardashian’s success (posted on Papermag.com) and the remarks Susan Sontag offers in On Photography regarding the inherent surrealism of photography, I want to consider whether the latter might refine the former. Per Fortini, Kardashian in person “seems amplified, tumescent”, her features made uncanny by … Continue reading