Thursday, 28 November 2013


  • Notions of consulships and truth
  • the indexical qualities of photography in rendering truth
  • photographic manipulation and the documentation of truth
  • censorship in advertising
  • censorship in art and photography
Ansel Adams
  • Moonrise Hernandes New Mexico, c.1941-2
  • Moon over Half Dome, 1960
  • Aspens
  • Exposed photo negatives for different amount of times to get different effects - makes the images look like they are taken at different times of year/day etc.
  • Five years before coming to power in 1917 October revolution, the soviets established the newspaper Pravda.
  • One sided truth
  • One side that the government wants you to see 
  • Photoshop makes it easy for anyone to manipulate photos
  • People making fake advertising playing on images - 9/11 images
  • Kate Winslet on cover of GQ magazine - legs elongated in photoshop
  • Is the representation of truth an important factor? Can you manipulate to sell?
  • Iraq war - two images combined to create one image - not representing the truth - can combine different images to change the message
Robert Capa
  • Robert Capa is a pseudo name - built up an identity
  • Death of a Loyalist Soldier, 1936 - is this the point of moment of death or is it set up? Does it matter?
'At the time (WWII), I fervently believed just about everything I was exposed to in school and in the media. For example, I knew that all Germans were evil and that all Japanese were sneaky and treacherous, while all white Americans were clean cut'

Jean Baudrillard
  • Simulacra and Simulations, 1981
  • It is a reflection of a basic reality
  • It masks and perverts a basic reality
  • It makes the absence of a basic reality
  • It bears no relation to any reality whatever
  • The Gulf War Did not Take Place, 1995 - It is a masquerade of information
  • Caused a lot of offence to people who had relatives who died in the Gulf War - they mistook his comments as saying the war never happened without reading the book
Peter Turnley, The Unseen Gulf War, 2002
  • There was censorship in the first gulf war
  • Photographers in the first war were controlled by the US forces and had restrictions on what they could photograph & represent
  • 'The mile of death' - on the last day of the war - no photographs were published at the time
Ken Jareke
  • Iraqi Soldier, 1991 - image was put in newspapers - one of the first truly shocking images captured in colour and put in the newspaper - british press was criticised for it - depicted a gruesome reality
Do you want an accurate gruesome truth?
  • An-My Le, Small Wars
  • An-My Le, 29 Palms: Mechanised Attack
  • An-My Le, Small Wars
Censorship in Advertising
  • To ban or cut portions (a film, letter or publication)
  • Morals & Ethics
  • Cadbury's Flake, 1969 - played on sexual ambiguity - a questions of other connotations to it - does it say more about the certain individuals or a universal?
  • United Colors of Benetton adverts, 1992 - stereotypical uses shocking adverts - racism & religion
  • Opium advertisement, Stephen Meisel, 2000 - most complained about advert in five years (2001) - sexually suggestive and likely to cause 'serious or widespread offence' thereby breaking the British codes of advertising and sales promotion.
  • Agnolo Bronzino, Venus Cupid, Folly & Time, 1545 - as a mythological subject does that make it acceptable?
  • Does painting make certain types of scenes more acceptable than photographs?
  • Balthus, The Golden Years, 1945 & Therese Dreaming, 1938 - represents an uncomfortable ground
  • Andy Earl recreated Manet's 'Dejeuner sir l'Herbe' with Bow Wow Wow record cover, 1980
  • Does a piece of fine art photography change the way we view it from commercial photography?
Amy Adler
  • The Folly of Defining 'Serious' Art
  • Professor of Law at NY University
  • 'An irreconcilable conflict between legal rules and artistic practice'
  • 'The requirement that protected artworks have 'serious artistic value' is the very thing contemporary art and postmodernism itself attempt to defy'
  • The Miller Test - 1973 - asks three questions to determine if a piece of work is seen as obscene
Obscenity Law
  • To protect art whilst prohibiting trash
  • The dividing line between speech and non-speech
  • The dividing line between prison and freedom
Sally Mann
  • Candy Cigarette, 1989
  • Immediate Family, 1984-92
Tierney Gearon
  • Untitled, 2001
  • News of the world - upper crust art lovers are paying £5 a head to ogle degrading snaps of children plastered across the walls of Britain's art galleries
  • Nan Goldin, Klara and Edda Belly-dancing, 1998
  • Richard Prince, Spiritual American, 1983
  • Richard Prince, Spiritual American IV, 2005

Final thoughts
  • Just how much should we believe the truth represented in the media?
  • Should we be protected from it?
  • Is the manipulation of the truth fair game in a capitalist consumer society?
  • Could art sit outside the censorship laws?
  • Who should be protected, artist, viewer or subject?

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