Subscribe to Monthly Newsletter with Activities, Learn the Core Concepts of Media Literacy, Voices of Media Literacy: 20+ Pioneers Speak. As she argues, perhaps originally with regard to photography, the medium fostered an attitude of anti-intervention. Our learned and inherited preference for "images" over "real things" is a danger; but no less a danger than believing what we see without reason. Susan Sontag's On Photography (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1973) represents a diverse collection of writings, from which I have chosen to use the single theme presented in the essay "Melancholy Objects" (pp.51-82.) I'm not certain anybody has ever created anything with a camera. This book may be considered as a postscript or addition to On Photography. On Photography won the National Book Critics Circle Award for 1977 and was selected among the top 20 books of 1977 by the editors of the New York Times Book Review. Though On Photography (public library)—the seminal collection of essays by reconstructionist Susan Sontag was originally published in 1977, Sontag… Colorful saris and strong, handsome faces do not bear the truth of the pain I tried to record. It’s an excellent analysis of the far-reaching changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world and at ourselves. As usual, when I am thinking of pursuing something, I turn to books. For non-photographers, it is doubtful whether they … I'm glad I read it, and would suggest it to someone else who enjoys discussing photographers and their styles and purposes. (Understandably she does not reproduce any photographs in this book as illustrations of what she says or of the photographer's works; her treatment of the uniqueness of the actual original print is adequate justification for such an omission.). Anyone interested in the social roles of photography will find this book fascinating and thought-provoking. Susan Sontag is the author of four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover and In America; I, Etcetera, a collection of stories; several plays; and five works of nonfiction, among them Illness as a Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. 2). Sontag discusses in the six essays not only the philosophical question of how reality may be perceived and knowledge gained, but she also reviews photography in its context: as a tool, an industry, an activity that "imposes a way of seeing" and therefore, actually alters reality. Sontag goes on to describe the context in which Eddie Adams took what was arguably the most shocking image of the Vietnam war: the moment in which a … Christian Molidor holds an MA in photo journalism from the University of Iowa. Sontag insists photography is an aggressive act which makes reality atomic, manageable, denies interconnectedness and continuity, and confers on each moment the character of a mystery. Her treatment of individual photographers, including references to specific photographs, also requires a detailed familiarity with these photographers and their works. As a religious photographer, I try to reveal to the subject I photograph an inner dignity of which the subject may not be aware. Among these, she contrasts Diane Arbus's work with that of Depression-era documentary photography commissioned by the Farm Security Administration. Reviewed by Derral Cheatwood University of Baltimore The first question to ask is: "Why review this book in Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communica­ tion?" Photography entered the scene as an upstart activity, which seemed to encroach on and diminish an accredited art: painting. Susan Sontag and her love of photography. We discover only when we make ourselves ready to receive and photographers seek discovery by mastering their craft. Clever and thought provoking, the diversity of these quotations certainly illustrate the difficulty of pulling together such a vast field as "photography." On Photography by Susan Sontag is a treatise on photography; what meaning it holds, both in Western civilisation, as well as other cultures and how such meaning has changed through the relatively short history of the medium. [4]. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work. In 1992 she received the Malaparte Prize in Italy, and in 1999 she was named a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French … Many of the reviews from the world of art photography that followed On Photography at the time of its publication were skeptical and often hostile, such as those of Colin L. Westerbeck and Michael Lesy. Her book is precise and complete in tone and color, with shades of intelligence so numerous they create a picture. Sontag's essays - meditations, really - are variations on the theme of photographic images and their ambiguous but potent force in the modern consciousness. Twenty-seven years later in Regarding the Pain of Others she issued a partial retraction: People can become habituated to images of violence, but some photographs for some people can continue to shock and thereby prompt moral reflection. Susan Sontag’s book “On Photography” is a classic. Susan Sontag (/ ˈ s ɒ n t æ ɡ /; January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004) was an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist. ISBN 0374248583. In this essay, Sontag explains about how photography can reveal so much about our culture, history and society. This blog post is based on an essay called "On Photography" by Susan Sontag. You do far more than that. For example, in her discussion of The Family of Man exhibition she quotes almost word-for-word Roland Barthes' critique in his book Mythologies, without acknowledgement; "By purporting to show that individuals are born, work, laugh, and die everywhere in the same way, "The Family of Man" denies the determining weight of history - of genuine and historically embedded differences, injustices, and conflicts." You don't "take" pictures. So, as one who practices photography rather than one who reads or writes about it, I ventured into Susan Sontag's essays cautiously - ready to ask questions and to challenge her statements. Simply stated, photography is taking pictures. Susan Sontag’s On Photography is one of the best studies of photography that you can find. On Photography. Initially I found myself reacting strongly against her assertions and conclusions. 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