Dangling Bodies and The Dangers of Photography

The above image, " la photographie peut être dangereuse" deals with the image in photography, as it relates to the photographic apparatus. By photographic apparatus here i reference not only the camera but the toxic chemical process, the image and the object of the lens. In this work I've used the female form to represent the object of male gaze. The red glossy surface and the multiple self portrait strips reflect back that gaze. The power chord that is drilled into the vagina and connects to the camera suspended in front of the figure adds to the arguement of the power structure of the Art Industrial Complex. Where does the power lie? In the object, the camera or the mind of the photographer? Or is it the image itself?




In " Dangling Bodies" i make commentary on the integral dialectic between the image and the apparatus. On the one hand the image is often critiqued as a stand alone object, somehow magically produced by the photographer and independent of any strong "influence" from the apparatus. I argue elsewhere for the consideration (based on the writings of Vilem Flusser) that the image is a product of the apparatus, somewhat independent of the photographer. Because when the camera is used properly (or according to the directions for rendering beautiful, sharp and artsy images) , the photographer is merely following the protocol of the Photographic Apparatus, and becomes a fuctionary of said apparatus. The adjustments of apperature, shutter speed, focus, etc. Even the choice of subject and film, or in the new digital age the choice of shooting raw files vs jpegs etc, are all predetermined selections. The permutations are seemingly endless, yet they are finite to the program. It is only when one reassembles these elements that you can truly begin to understand the impact of the image and the apparatus of the camera. In Dangling Bodies i argue for the consideration of the camera and its program not only as tools, but as communication codes in and of themselves.

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