Thursday, 17 January 2013

Lecture Eleven - Censorship and 'Truth'.

  • notions of censorship 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

The camera never lies
  • Ansel Adams - iconic, quality or common
    • Moon over half dome, 1960
    • Aspens - manipulation in dark room alters what the print shows
  • Documentary photography
    • rendering of real life events
    • propaganda 
    • notion that the photograph renders the truth
    • individuals being removed from photographs
    • Robert Capa - not real name or real image. Staging an image, was a soldier dying but not in the context it was said to be
    • ‘At that time [World War II], 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, honest, fair-minded, and trusting’
  • Digital photography
    • morals and ethics of advertising
    • digital technology can change the context of the original image
    • frivolous aspect
    • digitally enhanced images, more appealing to the audience
    • is it fair game to do this?
    • is what is presented in a photograph true?
    • does it matter?

  • ‘Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or relativity: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth it is the map that precedes the territory – precession of simulacra’
  • 'Whereas representation tries to absorb simulation by interpreting it as false representation, simulation envelops the whole edifice of representation as itself a simulacrum. These would be the succesive phases of the image:
    • It is the reflection of a basic reality.
    • It masks and perverts a basic reality.
    • It masks the absence of a basic reality. 
    • It bears no relation to any reality whatever : it is its own pure simulacrum.’

Gruesome images in the media
  • is that what you want to be seeing?
  • documentary imagery gone to far?
  • different levels of newspaper will show different things
  • making art out of conflict

  • A person authorised to examine films, letters, or publications, in order to ban or cut anything considered obscene or objectionable
  • To ban or cut portions of (a film, letter or publication)

  • Principles of behaviour in accordance with standards of right and wrong

  • A code of behaviour, especially of a particular group, profession or individual
  • The moral fitness of a decision, course of action etc
  • The study of the moral value of human conduct

  • sexual aspects of advertising
  • placing suggesting in peoples heads
  • does it say more about the individual than the advert?
  • banned within advertising but celebrated within fin art
  • 'The requirement that protected artworks have a 'serious artistic value' is the very thing contemporary art and post modernism itself attempt to defy'

Obscenity Law
  • to protect art whilst prohibiting trash
  • the dividing line between speech and non-speech
  • the dividing line between prison and freedom

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

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