Do images lie
Updated: Sep 11, 2020
I recently had this discussion in another class on the topic of if images can lie. Answers were varied, but I still believe that yes, they can. I absolutely agree with Sontag's concern that we will never know the literal full picture or trust in the way an imaged is figuratively framed. This of course is ten times more true in the days of Photoshopping an image to display whatever you wish. But that aside, I think the point is most importantly WHY was this photo taken and what the importance it has to the photographer/artist. A photo speaks a thousand words, but are they words that favor the viewers point of view only or the photographer point of view?
We can also look into the idea Sontag mentions connecting it to Plato's Cave of if images are even real? This we can look into the view of Walter Benjamin who discussed the replication of an image and the aura if it takes away or adds to its identity. He argues that it takes away the entire space and authenticity of the original work when replicated potentially hundreds upon endless times.
I recall working on a project with the New York Film Academy through the MET museum. A major concern of many museums is that since the internet can reproduce everything you could see at a museum, does that mean everyone will stop visiting? I feel that those who truly appreciate the art would never abandon the physical space of art. Nothing can be like being in the space of the original "Washington Crossing the Delaware" as we discussed in a short video based on interviews with patrons and the curator of The American Wing of the MET. https://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video/collections/aw/washington-surfing-the-web
Then in "The Machine Stops," I absolutely could not stop comparing it to this artist who makes comics based on how an alien might look at our world:
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