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Lecture

FAH 352 Feb. 14.docx

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Department
Art
Course
FAH101H1
Professor
Jordan Bear
Semester
Winter

Description
Exploration, Survey and Landscape Photography Ways in which photographers captured which viewers could not witness themselves. Able to close the gap between viewer and a distant area Immediacy, proximity, etc. Being There Photo of distant locale a proxy for undertaking travel Equivalent to physical journey? -Idea of it Francis Firth- “there is no effectual substitute for actual travel” - Travel photographer- marks pictures of having actually been there - Journey requires physical endurance Firth: Egypt +Palestine Photographed +Described 1858 Announces presence for legitimacy Firth: Sculptures from Outer Wall, Dendera 1858-9 Looks at first merely to portray information for study Frontality- means of communication for data Tabular Symbols- lower register- signature of photographer (almost camouflages it)- asserting the fact that he was there. Makes it look like name chiseled into wall. Parallel between agency as maker of photographer and Egyptian scribes Parallel surface of his photo and surface of real space In a way, written on the wall. Tells us that one of the key features pictures gain authority through is physical proximity Sense of how important having been there is. Firth: Crocodile on Sandbank c.1857 Signature again in lower left- as though traced into sand himself, close to crocodile. Must be some sort of mark of physical peril which photographer was placed (metaphorical) Attests to how important physical suffering is to authenticity of pictures Maxime DuCamp: Westernmost Colossus of Temple of Re, Abu Simbel 1850 Expedition widely funded by French state Because of Napoleon, French brought egyptomaina back with them, and became obsessed. Next generation grew up with Egyptology Man on top of head of Colossus- his guide, sense of scale, denote presence of Ducamp himself at scene. Almost as though conquered- importance of physical contact with space Frontal view preferred method of execution Aspiration of denoting factuality of scene Images part of book based upon these images Real photos on book Circulated in ways that attached authorital account Only later when detached do they differ John Beastly Green: Mednet-Habu 1854 Frontal tabular view Frenchmen – Thebes excavations Responsible for cleaning inscriptions in picture Greene: Dakkeh 1853-4 Identity distinct from archaeologist Unlike Firth and earlier photographers, tells us nothing useful Deliberately cloaks half of inscription in shadow Emerging sensibility of travel views that has less to do with data Evocation of idea of what place is like Tantalizing close but yet cut off Difficult to imagine proximity Greene: Nile in Front of Theban Hills 1853-4 Rejection of travel view as document for data No sense of uniqueness of having been there No authenticating structure – not after that Barren landscapes almost seem to evaporate “all image- no substance” Imperial and Empirical Photography Explorations sponsored by French Intellectual extension of French Empire in an area that was being contested Mission that permits these photos to be made Documents of particular set of political objectives East+West Désiré Charnay – Chichen-Itza, Main Facade c.1863 Series of these around ruins Charnay: Bas-relief on Portion of Ball Court Combo of manmade and natural Nature retaking that space that was taken from it Central part of ideology of travel photography Charnay: Paysage a l’arbre de Fernand Cortez-Mexique 1856 Legend Cortez plants tree for symbolic move Flourished into extraordinary foliage Kind of vindication of conquest “it was France’s duty to rouse Mexico from its numbness” Once great civilization dissipated into barbarism redeemed by Europeans Justifies historical conquest and that it has been positive Mapping, Prospecting, Composing: Timothy O’Sullivan (America) Employee of government Expand footprint of own continent- West Understood now powerful images could convey underlying ideologies of survey Subject unruly landscape to set of rules Make it habitable Middle power- central industrial nation O’Sullivan: Fissure vent at Steamboat Springs, Nevada 1867 Convey “strongness” No relationship to land in east Political function- not meant to be art – but aesthetically extraordinary Understands that it is something of geological importance Uses smoke to partially conceal a human figure in silhouette Emblem for what he is grappl
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