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Lecture

FAH101H1 Lecture Notes - Steamboat Springs (Nevada), Abu Simbel Temples, Fissure Vent


Department
Art
Course Code
FAH101H1
Professor
Jordan Bear

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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

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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
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