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Becoming photographic

Becoming photographic

Adil, Alev (2010) Becoming photographic. Philosophy of Photography, 1 (1). pp. 112-115. ISSN 2040-3682 (Print), 2040-3690 (Online) (doi:

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Both the philosophy of photography and photography itself are so profoundly and fundamentally engaged with the experience of time, it is perhaps unsurprising that the most eloquent theorists of the photographic – from Benjamin and Barthes to Sontag – have tended toward melancholy analyses which connect the photograph to the lost moment, to an image of mortality. In Photography, Cinema, Memory: The Crystal Image of Time Damian Sutton attempts to move beyond what he sees as the ‘moribund intellectual debate’ (93) that equates the photograph with death. He rejects the memorializing function of the photograph in favour of an active embodied participation in the production and disruption of its meaning; and celebrates narrativity rather than narration, the indeterminacy, uncertainty and enigma of the image. He wants to move debates about photography, and the nature of the photographic, beyond an understanding of photographic perception as an organization of memory in order to argue that photographic art practice – he explores the work of contemporary practitioners Steven Pippin, Nan Goldin, Gene McSweeney, David Claerbout, Hannah Starkey and Hiroshi Sugimoto amongst others – presents the photographic as a mode of becoming: ‘The photograph’s collapse of past and present, so often mistaken as morbid, is in fact a glimpse of one’s personal relativity to ongoing totality of duration and, at the same time, to the
whole of humanity’ (230). In order to achieve this he develops a Deleuzian reading of Bergson on time and proposes that Deleuze’s work on cinema enables one to theorize a taxonomy of time in the photograph.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Book review of Photography, Cinema, Memory: The Crystal Image of Time, Damian Sutton (2009) Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press, 296 pp., ISBN 9780816647392
Uncontrolled Keywords: photography, deleuze, crystal-image
Subjects: T Technology > TR Photography
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:11

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