Visibilility and realism: Photography and the problems of transparency
Photography’s initial claim to represent has been derived from a privileging of the visible world, which, it might be argued, is reinforced by the limited visibility of the camera. The proliferations of utilitarian photographies, therefore, are necessarily also the elimination of the non-visible. Such a notion of visibility, when contested, might provide the starting point for a reconception of the photographic in which the apparently indexical medium is filtered through alternative relationships to representation, transparency and, ultimately, even the discourse of realism. This article proposes that an alternative conception of realism might sceptically underline the limitation of the photographic apparatus in relating to but also limiting the world.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Camberwell College of Arts
Publication date: 01 October 2016
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- Philosophy of Photography is a new peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of photography. It is not committed to any one notion of photography nor, indeed, to any particular philosophical approach. The purpose of the journal is to provide a forum for debate on theoretical issues arising from the historical, political, cultural, scientific and critical matrix of ideas, practices and techniques that may be said to constitute photography as a multifaceted form. In a contemporary context remarkable for its diversity and rate of change, the conjunction of the terms 'philosophy' and 'photography' in the journal's title is intended to act as a provocation to serious reflection on the ways in which existing and emergent photographic discourses might engage with and inform each other.
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