(215) It is alleged to exploit the subjects depicted, to misrepresent them, and to fix them in the subject position of “victim” without their own agency and in need of help from others; to create—rather than portray—victims123; to revictimize and retraumatize people; to turn individuals into specimens representing, for example, preconceived “racial types”124; to expose people to the gaze of others who are said to be “stronger than the one who is watched”125; to contribute to “the asymmetrical ethical viewing position” characterizing the viewer-subject interface126; and, ultimately, to reproduce power relations including gender relations. (195) (89) Barbie Zelizer, Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory through the Camera’s Eye (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 218. James Johnson, “‘The Arithmetic of Compassion’: Rethinking the Politics of Photography,” British Journal of Political Science 41, no. It alludes to violence by its (seeming) absence, thus reversing the photojournalistic practice of referencing peace by its absence, but its main reference point remains violence: war is the condition of possibility for both war photography and aftermath photography, narrated and visualized in multiple forms of representation, including “black humor, poignant reflection, or simply iconic mythologizing.”182 Competing with “the visual domestication of conflict that occurs in more official pictorial regimes,” such representation may be “subversive,” but its reference point is nevertheless the preceding violence.183 There is thus a categorical difference between aftermath photography and peace photography, the one referencing violence, the other nonviolent ways of dealing with conflict. 3 (2006): 793–818. See Ekkehart Krippendorff, Die Kunst, nicht regiert zu werden: Ethische Politik von Sokrates bis Mozart (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1999), 277. Such approaches to the study of politics and art as qualitative, interpretive, and episodic, noncausal ones will not always result in generalizable knowledge valid across cases and over time, but they will produce knowledge all the same, limited as it may be. That those who claimed we were less than human were lying. Even in the absence of a causal connection, however, things may be connected with one another. Historically, political authorities have been a source of patronage for … There is a critical ingredient, and there is a moral ingredient, in much artistic work and also in many studies on politics and art. Susie Linfield, The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 217. Surely it matters also whether or not a subject agrees with her or his picture being taken and whether or not a subject knows what this means in a time of social media, online dissemination in real time, and numerous forms of manipulation, appropriation, and alteration. For example, Philip Jones Griffith’s Vietnam at Peace is said to have communicated primarily that Vietnam “is not yet ‘at peace’ with itself.”178. What role has political art played both in the history of art but also in the broader context of history? The violence inherent in the act of looking at a photograph of a person committing a murder is different from the violence inherent in the act of photographing a person committing a murder. After all, as Chinua Achebe notes, “a visitor can sometimes see what the owner of the house has ignored.”116 Thus, differentiation is required. Sticking to some degree of obscurity and invisibility while representing the obscure and invisible is hoped to result in viewers’ engagement—engagement with that which even after it has been rendered visible still retains some degree of obscurity and incomprehensibility, requiring further investigation on the part of viewers; in other words, engagement with the artists’ politics and not only with their aesthetics.150. (77) Roberts, Photography and Its Violations 61. (43) The third section also is divided into three parts: from aftermath to peace, artivism and participation, and memory remix. Awam Ampka (Lisbon: Sextante Editora, 2012), 182. (24) (148) (106) (26) Mark Reinhardt, Holly Edwards and Erina Duganne (Williamsburg/Chicago: Williams College Museum of Art/The University of Chicago Press, 2007), 21. (p. 160). That the photographer would let his or her subjects “bloom” in the ”safe zone” before his or her camera is an unusual approach to photography and the photographer–subject relationship. Ekkehard Krippendorff, for example, reproduces parts of Jonathan Swift’s and Leo Tolstoy’s work so as to illuminate foreign policy and sources of war.56 Other studies combine academic analysis with fictional narratives, thus creatively filling gaps in the available source material and challenging established patterns of analysis and presentation.57 Other scholars deviate from the standard academic operating procedure of writing books and produce documentary films accompanied by auto-ethnographic writings.58, There have been explicit attempts to formulate a theory of visual images from the point of view of political science,59 but many writings are theoretically less ambitious, presenting (self-reflective) first-person narratives offering “a particular reading of a particular text from within a particular institutional position.”60 Such readings, in communication with others and constructively interrogated in the evolving discourse on politics and art, help produce knowledge. Veena Das, Artur Kleinman, Mamphela Ramphele, and Pamela Reynolds (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2000), 46–78; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” International Studies Quarterly 47, no. Claudia Mesch, Art and Politics: A Small History of Art for Social Change since 1945 (London and New York: I. Nick Couldry, Inside Culture: Re-imagining the Method of Cultural Studies (London, Thousand Oaks, CA, and New Delhi: Sage, 2000), 58. Any conceptual approach to peace photography is limited, but different approaches to peace photography can be discussed and compared with one another. (55) It is for this reason that some authors, while acknowledging that photography is violent, insist that this violence is not only inevitable but necessary. Bal, “The Pain of Images,” 113. Visual image production is characterized by increasing overlap between photojournalism and art photography, with a number of photographers moving freely among subgenres or producing a body of work that does not easily fit into either category. Walter Benjamin, “Kleine Geschichte der Photographie,” in Walter Benjamin, Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit: Drei Studien zur Kunstsoziologie (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1963), 64. Visual representations of peace in journalism and the visual arts most often reference peace negatively: by depicting its absence; by showing war, violence, and destruction realistically (within the limits of visual representation) in order to trigger opposition to war; and by intervening photographically in violent situations so that others can intervene in the conditions depicted with other, nonphotographic, and supposedly more effective means. (203) Especially with regard to participatory projects in photography, graffiti, and street or open-access art, a narrow analytical focus on fine art and the museum would miss some of the most important trends in current culture work performed by citizen artists, who put as much emphasis on “being a citizen” as they do on “being an artist.” Here, new political agents emerge and contribute to the constitution of social and political life in a manner insusceptible to traditional political analysis. (22) (156) Lisle, “Surprising Detritus of Leisure,” 883. A widespread observation … Susan D. Moeller, Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell Disease, Famine, and Death (New York and London: Routledge, 1999). Photographic image production cannot be limited to quantitative considerations, but has to include qualitative assessments as well.95, It is also argued that (seemingly identical) images of victims “can produce a generalized and standardized visual account that anonymizes victims and depoliticizes conflict.”96 Images of victims, rather than increasing critical awareness, which can then be transformed into politics—the hope underlying concerned and social documentary work in the visual arts—are said to paralyze viewers and make them politically inactive. Jorge Amado, The War of the Saints, trans. This is the currently selected item. Mitchell, Picture Theory, 36 (emphasis added). Furthermore, that individual voices support this project, hoping that visibility will somehow improve their living conditions, is sociologically quite irrelevant as long as it disregards the overall political and economic configurations within which the project unfolds. The photographic act is an act of choice and discrimination, assigning importance to something or someone at the expense of something or someone else, which or who remains unphotographed. 3 (2011): 622–643. Roland Bleiker, Aesthetics and World Politics (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 18–47; Michael J. Shapiro, Studies in Trans-Disciplinary Discourse After the Aesthetic Turn (London and New York: Routledge, 2013). Martha Rosler, “The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems: In, Around, and Afterthoughts (on Documentary Photography),” in, Frank Möller, “The Violence of Witnessing,” in, Mark Reinhardt, “Picturing Violence: Aesthetics and the Anxiety of Critique,” in, David Campany, “What on Earth? (109) (212) Patronage in History. The Brookings Doha Center (BDC) hosted a Suhoor event on May 26, 2019 that discussed the role of revolutionary art in political expression and peace building. Cristina Demaria and Colin Wright, “What Is a Post-Conflict Culture?,” in Post-Conflict Cultures: Rituals of Representation, ed. Art photography’s interpretive openness and its insistence on various connotations that images carry with them appear inappropriate when it comes to representations of people in pain (and a substantial portion of the recent work on politics and art focuses on such representations). . Jay Prosser, Light in the Dark Room: Photography and Loss (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2005), p. 90. On the basis of Paragraph 10 of the first Executive Order implementing the Law Concerning the National Chambers of Culture of November 1, 1933 (Official Gazette, I, 797) I hereby expel you from the National Chamber of Fine Arts and forbid you, effective immediately, any activity—professional or amateur—in the field of graphic arts. Roberts, Photography and Its Violations 111. (11) 1, The History (New York: International Center of Photography/Göttingen: Steidl, 2010), 13–17. Sylvester, “Postmodern Feminist Methodology and International Relations,” 29. While the Late Photography of War focuses on “absence, belatedness, and ruin”170 decoupled from immediacy, other forms of aftermath photography focus on people.171 This is not to say that there are no people in the Late Photography of War: “[M]ost images without faces or people are actually full of people: they are places where people can find themselves in imagination.”172 This is the power of the invisible (see above). Bleiker, Aesthetics and World Politics, 1. Use of aggregate terms such as “people,” “audience,” or “we/us,” treated as unitary actors supposedly acting as the author, based on his or her expert knowledge, expects them to act, offers little satisfaction unless it can be shown that a specific group of people does in fact share the author’s analysis. 3, (2004): 502. 191 (Summer 2008): 38. (140) Lizelle Bisschoff and Stefanie van de Peer, eds.. Walter Benjamin, “Kleine Geschichte der Photographie,” in Walter Benjamin. “Securitization, Militarization, and Visual Culture in the Worlds of Post-9/11,” special issue, Ben O’Loughlin, “Images as Weapons of War: Representation, Mediation and Interpretation,”, Bleiker, “Pluralist Methods for Visual Global Politics,”, Lene Hansen, “How Images Make World Politics: International Icons and the Case of Abu Ghraib,”, Nancy S. Love and Mark Mattern, “Introduction: Art, Culture, Democracy,” in, Colin Wright, “Media Representations of 9/11: Constructing the Different Difference,” in, Terry Nardin and Daniel J. Sherman, Introduction to, Brian Wallis, “Recovering the Mexican Suitcase,” in, Maria João Guardão, “Tratado da invisibilidade,”, David Campbell, “The Myth of Compassion Fatigue,” in, Sharon Sliwinski, “A Painful Labour: Responsibility and Photography,” V, Frank Möller, “The Looking/Not Looking dilemma,”, Debbie Lisle, “The Surprising Detritus of Leisure: Encountering the Late Photography of War,”. (12) Thus, in order for the aestheticization critique to be convincing, an image has to offer pleasure (and nothing else); the focus on the work’s formal or internal properties has to be exclusive; the causes of and responsibility for suffering and its meaning and implications have to be wholly obscured; and the work has to be used as a resource for gratification. (186) The act of photographic violence exerted on the subject depicted cannot be separated from the violence of looking at the resulting photograph; the violence of photographic representation is inseparable from the violence of witnessing through photographic representation.132 The critique of photographic representation is especially pronounced when applied to perfectly composed images, often referred to as aestheticization. (192) None of these visual approaches, however, will create peace photography without assistance to be provided by linguistic designations of meaning shared by a significant number of people. . Grégoire Chamayou writes that according to Walter Benjamin, “technology, today used for death-dealing purposes, may eventually recover its emancipating potential and readopt the playful and aesthetic aspirations that secretly inspire it,”155 and that is one way of addressing van Houtryve’s art politically. Susie Linfield, “Shooting Conflict,” Aperture, no. Van Houtryve’s photographs from the series Blue Sky Days,154 reminiscent of photographic experimentation with forms, shapes, and shadows in interwar photography, appear indeed irritatingly tranquil and aesthetically appealing. These reinterpretations help reveal existing power relations within society, determining what previously was known and what was deemed worthy of analysis in the first place and identifying what previously was not seen and—therefore?—not known, including identification of what should be seen or known. Furthermore, beautiful photographs are alleged to direct attention away from the conditions depicted in a given image toward the technical brilliance and sophistication of the photographer, thus effectively depoliticizing the conditions depicted. © Oxford University Press, 2018. This is why many photographers who had access to the Rwanda war zones and the aftermath of the violence took the other route and excluded images of direct violence altogether. Hariman and Lucaites, No Caption Needed, 173 and 175. (154) (173) David Levi Strauss, Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics, introduction by John Berger (New York: Aperture, 2003), 9. This may be inevitable, but has to be reflected upon all the same. He asks: For example, how is revealing the “thing itself” of the interethnic violence in Rwanda in the 1990s respectful, helpful, or protective of those who were butchered? (94) In the digital age, many more images are being produced than ever before. Gregory Elliott (London and New York: Verso, 2009). Episodic writing emphasizes that “[w]hat happened in Scene A might not be causally related to Scenes B and C, but their placement either in space or time asks us to think them together.”181 Photographs ask us to think them together with that which they reference even if no causal relationship can be proven to exist. Beauty, as David Levi Strauss suggests, can be “a call to action,”138 and many photographers—including Simon Norfolk in his work in Afghanistan in the footsteps of John Burke—explicitly capitalize on beauty and its supposed capability of tricking viewers into engagement, not only with aesthetics but also with politics. Martha Rosler, “The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems: In, Around, and Afterthoughts (on Documentary Photography),” in 3 Works (Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 2006), 77. Next lesson. (92) Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), 9. (36) We saw ourselves just shine.118. Frank Möller, “The Looking/Not Looking dilemma,” Review of International Studies 35, no. Is art inherently political, regardless of its intentions or motives or does art have to be partisan to be political? (74) 29 (2011):, p. 874. . (66) By so doing, it challenges both the knowledge produced elsewhere and the power positions derived from this knowledge (within and without academia). They were not supposed to be there.117. (45) (51) Sometimes they can be political questions, sometimes they can be questions about the … And what can viewers and readers do with knowledge thus generated; to what ends can they use it? Work on politics and art expands the discursive frames within which politics unfolds, thus paving the way to new forms of political activity, and reveals the limitations and biases of established forms of social research. The number of images of human suffering reflects the number of people in pain, and no individual can hope to alleviate the suffering of all of them, visually represented or not. Art complicates our understandings and perceptions of the world, altering the discursive frames within which the political is negotiated. Bisschoff and van de Peer, Art and Trauma in Africa. Aftermath photography is a form of war photography; war is the condition of possibility for both war photography and aftermath photography. Susan Sontag, On Photography (London: Penguin, 1979), 14. Individuals contextualize images also by means of “pre-existing representational resources,”81 including images they already carry with them as visual memories derived from their own experience, the culture industry, or, increasingly, photo-sharing forums on the Internet. The New Museum presents “The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980s.” It is “a turning point … (166) This is especially true of modern times, as many artists express political and social views through their work. It would be misleading, however, to understand it as art. Such a wide understanding of peace photography (reflecting a narrow, negative understanding of peace) would be misleading. Analyzing Nietzsche’s quotation, art allows the mind to talk to reality, so they can reach an agreement and, in … Dominick LaCapra, History in Transit: Experience, Identity, Critical Theory (Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press, 2004), 43. This mistrust is neither entirely justified nor entirely logical, as it emphasizes the quantitative dimension of image production at the expense of qualitative considerations: just because there are more images than individuals can deal with—and there have always been more images than individuals could deal with—does not mean that it is impossible for individuals to engage with selected images; it is a choice, and this choice often reflects the quality of images. Michael J. Shapiro, War Crimes, Atrocity, and Justice (Cambridge and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2015), 10. Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris, Standard Operating Procedure: A War Story (London: Picador, 2009), 195–196. (78) 3 (2010): 299–309. Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, 105. “The lack of proportionality underlying official responses to the taking of pictures shows the extent to which governments feel threatened by the uncontrollable production and dissemination of images” in the digital age,196 characterized by social networks by means of which individuals operate politically together with others, defending the right not only to look197 but also to show, to document, and to reveal. As should be clear by now, due to, among other things, photography’s interpretive openness, intended and unintended connotations that images carry with them, different forms and degrees of visual socialization among viewers, and the dependence of the viewing experience on the context within which it takes place, the concept of “photography against violence and tyranny” is as vague and nebulous as is the concept of peace photography. See http://tomasvh.com/works/blue-sky-days (accessed May 15, 2015). This form of knowledge production requires reflection on the relationship between words and images in general. 3 (2011): 621–643; Mark Reinhardt, “Painful Photographs: From the Ethics of Spectatorship to Visual Politics,” in Ethics and Images of Pain, ed. Douglas Harper, Visual Sociology (London and New York: Routledge, 2012). Focusing on peace as a potentiality makes peace photography possible even in the absence of peace (and this would be the answer to the question of how that which does not exist could possibly be visualized). In the course of the project, the subject moves from being a subject to being a co-artist, exerting much more influence on the way he or she gets represented than can normally be observed in photojournalism. Images are unpredictable and uncontrollable, no matter how hard authorities try to control them.213 Every image is thus potentially political, because every image may find itself “caught up in a process of domination and resistance.”214 And nowadays there are more images than ever before. Art is critical if, as Michael Shapiro suggests, it transcends “the mere recognition of established opinion or the extrapolation from established versions of facticity.”15 Writing from a different theoretical perspective, Chantal Mouffe defines as critical those artistic practices that “can contribute to unsettling the dominant hegemony”16 by “bringing to the fore the existence of alternatives to the current post-political order.”17 Art, then, is not critical if it merely reconstructs or anticipates the motives of the political elite.18 Such reconstruction or anticipation, however, is a political act. (28) MacDougall, Transcultural Cinema, 68. This is a very ambitious and ultimately debilitating understanding of adequateness, and there are many possibilities for individuals to respond to conditions depicted in images below the threshold of immediate alleviation of the suffering depicted. As they respond to contemporaneous events and politics, the arts take on political as well as social dimensions, becoming themselves a focus of controversy and even a force of political as well as social change. Quoted in Caryl Phillips, “Out of Africa,” The Guardian, February 22, 2003, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/feb/22/classics.chinuaachebe (accessed June 10, 2015). You could not be signed in, please check and try again. Pablo Picasso’s famous painting “Guernica” stands as one example. (41) Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2007). What ties bind art, power, and patronage? What is photography?6 These are profoundly political questions in connection with visual politics in general and the politics of photography in particular.7 Indeed, “How we now—today—understand what photography is and how it works tells us something about how we understand anything. Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, 89 (emphasis added). Such analysis has to apply and develop methodological approaches suitable for the political analysis of art. Tauris, 2014), 97–124. Both activist and artist work in the challenges of the unknown and … The “excess meaning”89 images carry with them can always be translated into a multitude of interpretations and designations of meaning for each and every single image. Pearl Cleage Polk’s assessment reflects, I think, what David MacDougall had in mind when he wrote that photographs cannot but show the commonalities of being human, regardless of the photographer’s intention. (95) To claim otherwise would be misleading. Artist Mark Vallen contends all art is political. (179) After all, the experience of watching an image cannot be decoupled from language; all media are mixed media. Indeed, there is no reason to assume that artists and artworks are necessarily progressive and critical. Möller, “Looking/Not Looking Dilemma,” Review of International Studies 35, no. (29) 2 (2007); Matti Hyvärinen and Lisa Muszynski, eds. (172) Fred Ritchin, Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen (New York: Aperture, 2013), 122–141. Edelman believes art provides us with models, scenarios, narratives, and images we draw upon in order to make sense of political events, and he explores the different ways art can shape political perceptions and actions to both promote and inhibit diversity and democracy. (169) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/11/africa-remix-artists-reinvent-colonial-imagery (accessed May 25, 2015). (129) Given the absence of a universal understanding of, and the impossibility of a neutral, unpolitical approach to, peace, any conceptual approach to peace photography reflects the culture within which it is being developed and can claim validity only within this culture. 91 (May 2015): 38. B. Tauris, 2014 ), 53 (emphasis added). For example, they may be connected episodically. In the 1980s and 1990s, some members of Congress sought to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts after complaints by religious conservative organizations about some NEA-funded projects the groups deemed offensive. Seemingly peaceful photographs may show conditions that, for some at least, are not peaceful at all. (London and New York: Verso, 2010); W. J. T. Mitchell, Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9/11 to the Present (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2011); Ben O’Loughlin, “Images as Weapons of War: Representation, Mediation and Interpretation,” Review of International Studies 37, no. If such cooperation emerges authentically from the community (bottom-up) rather than being imposed by policymakers (top-down), then photographic documentation, as one element among many others, can contribute to the normalization of cooperation and perhaps to reconciliation. Jae Emerling, Photography: History and Theory (London and New York: Routledge, 2012), 119. Many aftermath projects are indeed characterized by a photographer’s long-term engagement with his or her subject. Summary In the paper “Politics, the art of government” the author analyzes politics as the art of government. (13) Rites of passage. The second section is also presented in three parts: art and violence, visibility and invisibility, and representing the aftermath. 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