Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Exercise: What Makes a Document?

A quick yet interesting exercise exploring a blog entry made by Jose navarro, the course author. We are to read the article and post back on our reflections on the article and the responses...

Ref: https://weareoca.com/photography/what-makes-a-document/

Here was mine.....

A thought provoking article with excellent responses... all 78 of them. For me a photograph is always a document, but as pointed out its relevance changes over time. The image of Jose’s grandfather is a remarkable one, the contrast of military and religion question the viewer immediately as to what could possibly be going on? For me it has an air of peace and reconciliation but perhaps that is what I want to believe.

Many responses are triggered around time and context and the two initial examples given will continue to change over time. Recently Fidel Castro passed away, you only have to look how his images have been portrayed overtime to see how their relevance has changed. This is what makes documentary so fascinating in that we do not know what today’s images will reveal or be used for in years to come. In many cases evidence of our failings.

For example images of the unsinkable Titanic, which in themselves are rare, were taken as a record of its magnificence, yet in time they are used as a record of its astonishing failure. Images of the first atomic bombs being dropped on Japan at the end of the Second World War may have had the intention of demonstrating military supremacy, or recording the event as a ‘first’. Now they serve us well detailing the unyielding horror and trauma inflicted by so many as a stark reminder of man’s brutal potential.

Often we record not knowing the relevance of the moment, perhaps every image has a future secret to reveal?

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