Le 28 avril 2015, 14:07 dans Humeurs • 0
the document wrestled free from lumpenly naturalistic signification. Also, as in Fore, it appears necessary to excavate the pre-history, leaping backwards over the Nazi Third Reich, to engage the richly modulated debates that took place in Germany in the 1920s.
The book opens with Brecht’s little-examined Kriegsfibel – his cut ups of photographs from the daily press that are coupled with ironic rhymes – in order to conceptualise the mode of seeing that should be encountered on the ‘common ground’ between photographer and spectator. It is ‘complex seeing’. The juxtapositions of text and image and image and image ‘activate seeing’. Where Kriegsfibel, like the photomontages of John Heartfield, achieves this from the Left, Ernst Ju ̈nger, we are told, models this for the Right, through his ‘stereoscopic seeing’, a mode of photographic enstaging that purported to present the material and the metaphysical, or, in other words, the Urbild, or underlying essences of Being. One might be rather more circumspect about how overlapping these two modes of seeing really are.
James mentions Ju ̈nger’s rehabilitation in Germany of the 1960s, which serves to legitimate the use of him as, again, a prophet and legislator of the image politics of the atomic age. Indeed Pawek’s What is Man? cited Ju ̈nger as an influence, and he appears to be a vector for blasting Steichen’s smooth, harmonious humanism into a violent, conflictual image of the age. Photography had altered subjectivity and transformed the gaze. Ju ̈nger, in writing of and providing images of violence and danger, had not been an advocate for it, but rather was simply mimicking the growing incursion of violence and pain in everyday life, occasioned by militarism and the machine. Photography was mobilised to show the danger and the hardened self and was itself mechanical, providing a sharper mechanical vision. It was suited to the accumulation of perceptions, to the provision of sequences. In The Transformed World, Ju ̈nger splices gruesome pictures with leisure images, taken from the world of the newspapers and the illustrated magazines. Crowds at a mass hanging in Afghanistan are set next to female life savers doing skills demonstrations in Melbourne, in front of large crowds. Bodies are wounded and killed. Bodies are rescued at the moment of death. Violent juxtaposition redoubles the violence of the content. The mass age and mass reproduction meet, as Walter Benjamin observed, though he also, unambivalently, unlike here, lambasted, as a politics of aesthetics, any ‘misuse’ of the apparatus, that is to say, fetishistic, reactionary uses that seek to perpetuate, rather than more or less blankly mirror, the violence of industrial fascisto-capitalism.
Ju ̈nger’s images work in concert. A determining focus of James’ book is serial photography. James is interested in the relations between photographs, whether that occurs as part of a photographic project (as in the Bechers’ practice or in Scha ̈fer; and Schmidt), or as an exhibition (such as Steichen’s or Pavek’s), or in magazines or photo essays. Seriality is, so the claim goes, necessarily political, whether it proposes identity or difference across the images. In either case, it forces the establishing of connections, or rationale, of narrative. In this way, we are told, singular innocuous images.
Reach us any weekdayUS Sales Office Address: 1642 pulaski Dr.,Blue Bell,PA19422,USA
Or call us right now TEL: (001)215-764-6161