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Vernacular photography — a means to avoid an end

Posted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:59 am
by bakubo
This article in the Japan Times may be interesting to some of you:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fa20100702a2.html

Re: Vernacular photography — a means to avoid an end

Posted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:20 am
by David Kilpatrick
Sounds like an excellent exhibition, and I had no idea about the ceramic urn printing over 100 years ago in Japan. There is no mention of something important (and hidden) in UK and Irish photo history, the death portrait. This was and to a degree still is a professional commission in predominantly Roman Catholic areas, notably Liverpool; after the undertaker has prepared the corpse for lying-in (traditionally at the home of the family, not in a funeral parlour) the local wedding and portrait photographer takes a death portrait.

Barthes's proposition that every exposure records what is dead, because the moment once past is never returned to by the living subject, is responsible for making curators and artists think too hard about photography.

David

Re: Vernacular photography — a means to avoid an end

Posted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:19 pm
by bakubo
This was also interesting to me:

The displayed clutter of smiling faces and sunlit scenery might seem to be a radical jump from the contrived funerary portraits next-door. But the reoccurring shadow, which invites us to ponder the relationship between the people in front of and behind the camera, also alludes to the ever-present specter of death, the grim reaper lurking on the fringes of life.

Some of the snapshot shadows are so prominent that they appear deliberate.


I recently started the Photos with evidence of the photographer thread so I thought that was a coincidence when I read the above. :) Over the years I have sometimes intentionally included my shadow or some other evidence of me. And, of course, sometimes it has been accidental...but are there truly any accidents? :)

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4245

Re: Vernacular photography — a means to avoid an end

Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:11 am
by Dusty
David Kilpatrick wrote:... There is no mention of something important (and hidden) in UK and Irish photo history, the death portrait. This was and to a degree still is a professional commission in predominantly Roman Catholic areas, notably Liverpool; after the undertaker has prepared the corpse for lying-in (traditionally at the home of the family, not in a funeral parlour) the local wedding and portrait photographer takes a death portrait.

David


March 09, I photographed my uncles funeral proceedings. Although I was a bit reluctant to, I photographed the body, as someone told my aunt that she may want that picture.

Last month, at my aunt's (his wife's) funeral, I was asked not to even photograph the funeral, as they didn't want any pictures of the body. It seems some of them were upset by the pictures of my uncle's body. It was 'videoed' with a Bloggie, but I have yet to see the results.

Dusty

Re: Vernacular photography — a means to avoid an end

Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:20 am
by bakubo
Well, I guess some people are comforted by having a photo of the dead body. Some others prefer something a bit more substantial. :)

Widow Lives With Corpses Of Husband, Twin
Jean Stevens Had Dead Bodies Of Husband, Twin Sister Exhumed And Stored In Pa. House

http://cbs3.com/local/living.with.dead.2.1788697.html

"A 91-year-old woman found living with the corpses of her husband and twin sister will be allowed to keep them if she installs a mausoleum or crypt, a prosecutor said Tuesday."