Yesterday I went to a discussion about Sontag's last book at the Belkin UBC Gallery and it was useful for me. At once I was like a fish out the water among art historians and people on different related art studies. Though they didn't make me feel out of context, since everyone was very focused on the reading and its connection with the current exhibition and general discussion. I was interested in discussing Sontag for my own research project. Of course, it is not same at all, but when dealing with children's end of life issues, the capacity to be affected and to 'regard the pain of others' is right there. So here are some quick notes I took from our discussion.
November 25, 2010
How much images can depict other’s suffering
The act of looking: regard (see and consider)
Political struggles and how much is shared those images?
The ethics of looking at something that involves suffering
On photography (1977)
Reject images as meaningful ways to convey suffering
Mirror images have not essential compassion
Aestethization of suffering neglects that suffering…. Becomes a general sense of suffering
Regarding the pain of others (2003)
What is the power of images: she saw images of death camps.
People see these images and why doesn’t war stop?
Why are we interesting and not interesting of other’s suffering?
What is the power of images?
Virgina Wolf: is not that women don’t like war and men yes
Subjectivity: may be is a combination of texts… images is not universal and not sufficient. There is something else: social context
Personal readings: people can be guided with texts in order to see images in certain ways
What is the function of war images? Point of view of the photographer. Aestheticizationof images.
War journalists are using composition of forms.
You only see some parts but how are they compose and what they depict are somehow performed?
Responsibility to regard other’s suffering is not only the act of imaging… it’s about viewing
The fault is on imagination, not being so imaginative in connecting to other’s suffering?
How much are we able to emphasize on other’s suffering?
Images as reminders or bearing witness?
Capacity to be affected is crucial
Dif between recognition and apprehended required affect (Butler)
Distances from the image: too much passivity or one that feel the tension (Adorno) and says ‘what I can do with this image?’
Art dilemma: from image to be everything (dictator) to everything (theory) without images (reaction against the art object). So now is returning to the object but with theory. The object turn? Object based work…
Context sometimes becomes a retaining wall? We only see the trace of something that happened in the past…
Do something with conceptualization… certain return to craft, effort on technique, time, work… Recuperate the work of affect without irony, make yourself vulnerable. Is this connected with regarding others on a vulnerable position (often suffering)…
Eduardo Cadava's "The Image in Ruins" from October