Susan Sontag

21 Sep

In our century we play fast and loose with the definition of a photograph. Many of the images we call photographs today are really chimera, fusions of photographs and liberally applied artistic renderings.

Sontag’s genius was that, in 1977, in an era without Photoshop, she could see the special nature of a photograph and how, through the scientific, objective capture of light, it is intimately involved with the real.

Photo by Peter Hujar First published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons (Susan Sontag in1966)

“… first of all a photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real, it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask.”

Susan Sontag (1977) The Image-World, On Photography, Penguin, p154


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: