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Author Topic: Aestheticizing War, offered without comment  (Read 2258 times)

Rob C

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Re: Aestheticizing War, offered without comment
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 05:27:52 AM »

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2015/12/21/pretty-violence-david-shields-war-is-beautiful/


Thank you for the link.

I don't think there's a way out of it unless you hire photographers with very limited ability. If somebody is willing to risk their life to be where things are going down, then something beyond money is taking them there.

I can't see how a natural gift for composiition/framing is going to be supressed, exorcised from the head of the photographer who has that. Does an ugly composition improve anything? I think not. I believe that there is beauty everywhere, even in death, unfortunately (or conversely), and that's what we shall continue to witness as long as mankind has the means to kill itself.

I suppose the only way to achieve less glamour is to remove colour. Gritty black/white doesn't always equate with beauty, but as many photographers prove every day, that's not an absolute either.

The only answer is to ban images; after that, ban reporting and everything will then be all right in the world beyond our immediate vision. If not, then eliminate the causes within sight: kill the poor, oblige everyone alive to own the Ferarri and Riva, and then, when there's nobody left to manufacture those anymore because, well, who wants dirty hands when they are rich, start all over again with the guns and enslavement of another tribe.

Rob C

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Re: Aestheticizing War, offered without comment
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2015, 05:15:35 PM »

I agree with Rob on this one. Two of my fav photographers, Salgado and Burtynsky, often photograph ugly sights and activities…but do so with such creative sensibility and skill that they can't help but create beautiful images. The result is a conundrum with IMO no clean & clear solution.

-Dave-
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amolitor

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Re: Aestheticizing War, offered without comment
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2015, 05:21:36 PM »

Sontag had quite a bit to say about this. Clever girl.
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ripgriffith

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Re: Aestheticizing War, offered without comment
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 09:00:29 PM »


The only answer is to ban images; after that, ban reporting and everything will then be all right in the world beyond our immediate vision.
Rob C
Much too draconian, Rob, and unnecessary, IMO.  Just do what we Americans are most famous for:  turn our backs and fuggedaboutit.
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GrahamBy

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Re: Aestheticizing War, offered without comment
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2015, 01:36:55 PM »

I read a first hand account of the Paris attacks from November, written by a guy who survived inside the Bataclan by hiding in the ceiling. He recounts factually the shooting, the sounds of people having their throats slit, the emotions of the hearing the RAID attack... being led out of hiding, being squeamish about putting his bare foot on the pieces of flesh hanging on the ladder, the wide-eyed corpse of a beautiful young woman.

Of course you can't prevent beautiful photos being made. The question is about the high-impact photos that aren't getting published : the amputees, the dying, the pain.

Historically, Vietnam showed us that letting photojournalists get any photos they can, results in powerful anti-war images... and the military has learn't from that, and those images have been blocked at the source since the first Gulf war. The few honest images have been snapped by the soldiers themselves. But no images at all and we'd be back to the glamourisation that was still possible during 1914-18 war.
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Rob C

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Re: Aestheticizing War, offered without comment
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2015, 03:09:32 PM »


Historically, Vietnam showed us that letting photojournalists get any photos they can, results in powerful anti-war images... and the military has learn't from that, and those images have been blocked at the source since the first Gulf war. The few honest images have been snapped by the soldiers themselves. But no images at all and we'd be back to the glamourisation that was still possible during 1914-18 war.

Hi Graham,

I wonder if we have not passed that stage by now... there can't be a person alive who hasn't seen war footage, been subjected to countless television appeals for starving/child-bride/water-needy/medicine-starved people everywhere religion and testosterone get together and make madness. I suspect that the point of numbness has already arrived. I can think of no other explanation for the many teenage murderers we hear about in so many cities. The world is rotten at the core. And we seem to accept it as is. In  fact, we hear more from the apologists for these people (the perps) than from the other side: the victims. The only non-war 'victims' I seem to hear about are always connected with showbiz personalities being sued for historical rapes... how to defend against that accusation years and years later? The press won't let it disappear: too much vested money keeping it all alive, regardless of facts nobody really knows for sure, other than the accused and the accuser.

The dangers of being rich and in showbiz. Desperate young groupie becomes middle-aged grasper. Or not.

Rob C

GrahamBy

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Re: Aestheticizing War, offered without comment
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 07:23:36 AM »

However in fact the rate of murder in pretty much all western countries is in decline... but much more of it is televized. So the numbness isn't creating more child murderers...

General street violence/lawlessness is not declining in the same way, but I suspect that is more about disagregation that is happening in France and Germany (and elsewhere??) through a combination of financial crises and political stupidity. I've seen data on deaths by violence (murder & suicide) in Glasgow for eg, and they have dramatically improved over the last 40 years... although they're still horrible. Russia is pretty much where the worst of Glasgow was 40 years ago.

Where the rates are still very high, there is no need for images, the killing happens live, in the middle of crowds. I've been reading some articles by an Italian anti-mafia judge on the mechanisms of maintaing fear in Palermo... It's so endemic that Sicilian dialect supposedly has no future tense, only the conditional.

But I don't doubt the numbness is happening, or that more people are choosing to tune out entirely... then of course they complain they they weren't informed about this or that massacre in Centrafrique (and what would they have done if they'd known?)
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