ANDRE BAZIN THE ONTOLOGY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE PDF

He compares this practice to the birth of the plastic arts. He states that there is a basic psychological need in man to outwit time and preserving a bodily appearance is fulfilling this desire. Because, however, pyramids and labyrinths could be pillaged, statuettes were developed as substitute mummies in case anything were to come of the real one. In the fifteenth century, Western painting turned from a concern with spiritual realities and aesthetics to one in which spiritual expression is combined with an imitation of the outside world that is as close as possible to reality. 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 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.

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The process might reveal that at the origin of painting and sculpture there lies a mummy complex. Thus, by providing a defence against the passage of time it satisfied a basic psychological need in man, for death is but the victory of time.

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. It was natural, therefore, to keep up appearances in the face of the reality of death by preserving flesh and bone. From statues, palaces, portraits to tombs influential men have commissioned and produced art to represent themselves and the world they live in. The cart refers back to the painter and his paint. No matter how skilful the painter, his work was always in fee to an inescapable subjectivity.

Photography affects us like a phenomenon in nature, like a flower or a snowflake whose vegetable or earthly origins are an inseparable part of their beauty. Bazin also believes that, because of the technical and scientific method of photography, the aesthetic experience derived is much more in-line with personal perception.

Photography and cinema replicates the physically real without the barrier that one encounters when admiring a painting or sculpture. It should be noted however that Bazin invests far too much faith in the technical process of developing film as an objective and not subjective process. With the birth of photography came the birth of photo modification and editing and films such as The Cabinet of Dr.

Caligari show this trend with certain scenes being coloured differently. I think Bazin, even if he accepted that film is often modified, would argue that the best cinema would attempt to capture reality as it is. Bazin may have argued, however, that the counter-position — that photography is not objective — incorrectly translates his proper position. Bazin uses the French word objectif, which means the lens of a camera, and overtly, in the French text, plays on this meaning.

However I believe that this point is too harsh. And Bazin believes that this reproduction is treated, commonly, as if it is the object. Realism strips bare those preconceptions which, to Bazin, we accumulate through the passage of time like dust settling on furniture. Therefore to Bazin photography and Cinema, in the realist style, is a gust of wind which blows away the dust that settles on our way of seeing.

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

First, I showed Sam Marlowe realizing with befuddlement that the shape in the weeds he has been sketching is actually the feet of a corpse. This next bit remained consistent across both times I taught the course. The claims of the opening pages are, for the most part, art-historical: ambitious, to be sure, but still somewhat grounded. Both preserve bodies from the ravages of time. Before photography, all visual arts followed this motivation. It is optical because it uses lenses to focus light onto the film strip. It is chemical because it uses chemical reactions to imprint the physical trace of an image on said strip.

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The process might reveal that at the origin of painting and sculpture there lies a mummy complex. Thus, by providing a defence against the passage of time it satisfied a basic psychological need in man, for death is but the victory of time. 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. It was natural, therefore, to keep up appearances in the face of the reality of death by preserving flesh and bone. From statues, palaces, portraits to tombs influential men have commissioned and produced art to represent themselves and the world they live in. The cart refers back to the painter and his paint. No matter how skilful the painter, his work was always in fee to an inescapable subjectivity.

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