“The Ontology of the Photographic Image” examines how the plastic arts preserve humans and reality through representation. Photography. Beginning his essay, André Bazin dives right into the practice of embalming, how ancient Egyptians used to mummify bodies and keep them. GLA Fall Take Home Mid-term Assignment Santosh Kumar Korthiwada Instructor: Lisa Levine The Ontology of the Photographic Image – by.

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They both create realities in their re-presentations. Only the impassive lens, stripping its object of all those ways of seeing it, those piled-up preconceptions, that spiritual dust and grime with which my eyes have covered it, is able ghe present it in all its virginal purity to my attention and consequently to my love. He compares this practice to the birth of the plastic arts.

They are still magical because they still create worlds. For many people, the plastic arts do retain their magical role. Because, however, pyramids and labyrinths could be pillaged, statuettes were developed as substitute mummies in case anything were to come of the real one.

They freed the plastic arts from their obsession with likeness.

André Bazin, “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” () – Jamie L. Brummitt, PhD

He states that there is a basic psychological need in man to outwit time and preserving a bodily appearance is fulfilling this desire. The artist and his genius are not present in photography like in painting.

Caligari show this trend with certain scenes being coloured differently. The opposite is true for Benjamin.

They construct objectivity and realism through mechanical reproduction. Film takes photography to another level.

Post was not sent – check your email addresses! The arts bazjn longer care about survival after death. However, it is my opinion that though, Bazin generalized mummy complex to humankind, he himself was somehow fascinated with the concept of human immortalization after death and the various ways people tried to achieve it via painting, sculpture etc.

Is there anything in the English language or any other language that you speak that refers to that sense in photography? The Ideology of Realism: Photography and film are hallucinations and un-real worlds.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: This objectivity and reality are a product of impassive mechanical reproduction. Onyology uses the French word objectif, which means the lens of a camera, and overtly, in the French text, plays on this meaning. Photography does provide more realism. You are commenting using your WordPress.

It was natural, therefore, to keep up appearances in the face of the reality of death by preserving flesh and bone. However, hhe one reads the article carefully, Bazin too was not in total agreement with his statement. In fact, this is what Bazin seems to argue when he suggests that they are hallucinations.


However I would agree with your statement: No matter how skilful the painter, his work was always in fee to an inescapable subjectivity. Realism strips bare those preconceptions which, to Bazin, we accumulate through the passage of time like dust settling on furniture. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. To Bazin photography makes us see the world anew. To preserve, artificially, his bodily appearance is to snatch it from the flow of time, to stow it away neatly, so to speak, in the hold of life.

“Ontology of the Photographic Image” by André Bazin

It was meant to awaken people from a false reality and a false consciousness. Why or why not? Help Center Find new research papers in: Therefore to Bazin photography and Cinema, in the realist style, is a gust of wind which blows away the dust that settles on our way of seeing.

What Bazin did not go into much detail in the argument is about his personal opinion about this topic. This site uses cookies.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. I disagree if he meant it in literal sense. A photograph is of a specific moment in time and a specific place, while art can be of any moment in any place which is why Bazin argues that a painting is more eternal than a photograph. The Ontology of the Photographic Image. This left painting torn between two ambitions—the expression of spiritual reality and symbol and the desire for duplication of the world around us.


What Bazin means here is that the reality is automatically captured by the mechanical object called a lens and the man photographer is absent from the photographif process of re-producing the reality photograph. Bazin continues to explain that the desire to see reality, though it is merely an illusion created via painting, is a mental need and realism in art is caught between the aesthetic and a deception aimed imzge fooling the eye.

Influential Theorists: Andre Bazin – The Ontology Of The Photographic Image

Santosh Kumar Korthiwada Instructor: Photography ranks high in the order of surrealist creativity because it produces an image that is a reality of nature, namely, an hallucination that is also a fact.

The object becomes photograph and photograph becomes the object. He thinks that what makes painting inferior is the excessive struggle of the artist, with so much hands-on involvement to make the painting as close as possible to reality and photography on the other hand is so successful in re-producing reality without much intervention of man. Thus, as a final blow, Bazin makes the assertion that photography is the most important event in the history of the plastic arts and then leads us into his article on the development of the language of cinema and how we analyze it.

This is what Walter Benjamin argued about photography and film. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Probably, his worsening health condition and his immense love for photography and cinema drove him into a philosophical contemplation about death and reach a conclusion that photography is the last word in argument with death. University of California Press Ltd,pp. Andre Bazin is undoubtedly a famous figure in film criticism and film theory.