Background: Susan Sontag was a famous essay writer as well as an experimental novelist, short story writer, film writer, director, and photographer. Her work. Susan Sontag: On Photography; America: Seen Through Photographs, Darkly It was stressed by Sontag to compare Diane Arbus’ Woman With a Veil on Fifth Avenue and Lartigue’s Racecourse at Nice America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly As Susan Sontag observed in her essay – which gives its title to that of the conference – the work of many of the.

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However, she later references a secondary source that mentions that people that are unaware they are being photographed will show more of their true feelings than will someone that has been posed for a photograph. For now is most important to realize how quickly I’m influenced by different point of views photogaphs that also a critique is never objective and always made from a certain paradigm which might not even be suitable for throigh claims about the art that is discussed.

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Isn’t it that the most important aspect of her photography was to get the subjects to look weird, estranged? Similarly, people eventually become desensitized to the artist’s process and accept any irregularities as relatively normal.

In the case of Arbus, to wait with shooting the image till the subject is at ease, or in case of the subject, to be tolerant of the strange photographer in front of them.

The whole thing is basically one big summary with an “I don’t like this” thrown in at the end. In fact, she was probably doing it for just the opposite reason.

America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly. Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!

She extensively uses Arbus’ photographs as an example, as Arbus focused on photographing “ugly” subjects a few of Arbus’ photographs are shown above. It seems to me that art might be a vehicle for the suppressed to become an accepted part of society. Keep up the good work! How can I develop a way of thinking critically when reading these kind of texts and darlky at art?

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On Photography – America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly Summary & Analysis

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Rosie the Riveter Image About Me. Arbus seems to have focused more on the experience of the photographer than on the actual subject of the photograph. I had already planned to write a blog post about Diane Arbus and been looking at her images, read a few websites etc, when I stumbled on the chapter ‘America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly’ in Susan Sontag’s ‘On Photography’.

Sontag noted that once people see things they aren’t used to enough, they become desensitized. About Me michele jefferys View my complete profile. The essay focuses on the effects of photographs on the perceived importance of their subjects. Lartigue Racecourse At Nice That even the weirdness and sadness that the subjects show is a result of her private vision and have little to do with the subjects themselves.

Hey very nice blog!! Sontag’s assessment of Arbus’ work is comprehensive in scope. To Whitman, the trivial was important and it was critical to accept the real.

On Photography from BookRags. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Thompson, Van Gogh and everyone else who ended their lives leaving behind an admirable body of work. Notify me of new comments via email. Whitman wanted to see all of humanity as a homogeneous whole, welded together by commonality instead of separated by superficial distinctions. Posted by michele jefferys at 2: It is unusual in focusing early attention on Walt Whitman—not a photographer—as the focus of American culture from about to the turn of the century.

Reading quotes from Arbus on the internet, I notice that her ideas of the work only reflect Sontag’s in part. About Me greatsofthewest View my complete profile.

In one part of the essay, Sontag stated that the “weird” or “ugly” people photographed did not show signs of pain or despair like the people that were seemingly normal in photographs. Diane Arbus is one of those photographers who is attracted to the unusual, the outcasts, the freaks sparking curiosity in onlookers for years after her suicide in The price of this shift is that photography does not serve as ‘a liberation, but as a subtraction from the self’.


For Sontag, Arbus’s work is a reaction against manners and bourgeois good taste, and it is a rebellion against boredom. While I did not look too much into sfen photographs I selected to include in this blog, I can think of numerous reasons for the people in the photographs to be acting or smiling the way that they are.

michele’s blog: Sontag’s “America Seen Through Photographs, Darkly”

In some images I read a direct reaction to Arbus’ on the subjects faces. Arbus was reacting against the status quo in all senses: Nonetheless, it was a thoroughly interesting essay photogrphs presented challenging ideas not just about photography, but on the nature and purpose of art as a whole.

In Arbus’ case, the fact ametica she was raised in a middle-class Jewish household shows that she was not photographing the weird because it was familiar to her. Diane Arbus’ work is a pure example of this shift. Posted by greatsofthewest at 1: But as photography developed more and more artistic interest was directed to the less-glorified, banal and casual aspects of American life, the realization Whitman’s vision.

Sean February 15, at 9: In the first decades of photography photographs were photogralhs to idealize images, and a beautiful picture was thought to be a picture of something beautiful.

On Photography – America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly Summary & Analysis

The Heroism of Vision. Order our On Photography Study Guide.

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