Lying on a sofa with her legs propped up on one end and her hair almost flowing off the edge; the languid, almost faint Sontag, exudes the tired, the familiar and the ordinary. “I don’t have two lives. A particular haunting image, “Evidence No. However, while both Araki and Leibovitz draw inspiration and imply affection for their subjects by capturing ubiquitous rituals of everyday life, the manner of which intimacy itself is established through the lens differs slightly for Araki. The ability of photography as medium to provide a platform for human response to death can be seen by comparing the emotional responses of both Leibovitz and Araki. In these interventions, Sontag was not unique, nor especially erudite, or even that radical. Susan Sontag bullied her lover, snapper to the stars Annie Leibovitz, mercilessly, telling her, "You're so dumb, you're so dumb," a searingly honest book about Sontag's life reveals. 11 ibid. Susan Sontag, the “Dark Lady” of American intellectual life for over four decades, has died of cancer. Thus, a historical analysis into the subject of death is pertinent here. This blending in of the bloodstains is once again, a subtle obscuring of the past tragedy and asserting that continuity of life that perhaps, has also accepted death into its very essence. She was in her early forties when she discovered that she had stage 4 breast cancer. More specifically, the published “Sentimental Journey”, similar to Leibovitz’s “A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005”, features a series of black-and-whites, documenting Araki’s relationship with his deceased wife Yoko. Oct 3, 2018 - Susan Sontag quotes, tattoos, photos, books, and products. You are going to disagree with what I say about her fiction, especially the early stuff. 12 AnOther, Tilda Swinton’s The Maybe, Available: http://www.anothermag.com/current/view/2664/Tilda_Swintons_The_Maybe [Accessed: 3rd September]. A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005 – Exploring Leibovitz’s Oeuvre. (Her mother eventually remarried and Sontag mostly ignored her stepfather, but she kept his last name. 8 Blouin Artinfo, Review: Nobuyoshi Araki’s Sentimental Journey, Available: http://encn.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/962502/review-nobuyoshi-arakis-sentimental-journey [Accessed: 2 September]. Araki’s aforementioned work is reminiscent of this same documentary approach – death becomes a narration of nothing more than itself. There is no way for this not to be a throwdown. Hence, death itself is obscured by the image, cleaning/refurbishing and time and Strassheim invokes the continuity of life even after the tragedy and horrors of homicide has come to pass in a place. In these photographs, the corpse would be manipulated and dressed up such that it would resemble slumber or lifelikeness. Here however, a sense of distance between subject and “audience” is established from the very nature of forensic photography itself which demands “as one of the primary documentation components, systematic, organized visual record of an undisturbed crime scene”. But these flashes … Briefly, photography as a medium is important as it curates, but at the same time, creates both distance and personal sentiment towards the dead. By transcribing a moment, where Sontag is at her most ordinary and partaking in something that is so intrinsic to human existence – weary but simultaneously, at rest, Leibovitz sheds light onto an aspect of Sontag the world is not privy to. Noté /5. 17 Ibid. The backdrop is nearly identical – a side table with books, and a heater unit. In “Evidence, #11, 48×60” (Fig. Unlike vanitas paintings which had an underlying commentary of death and life, funerary photography functioned as visual memento mori as well. Yet the audience is well aware of the living space around it that subtly frames an image of human monstrosity. Leaving Seattle, November 15, 2004. Angela McRobbie provides a more sympathetic hypothesis towards the publishing of such photographs. The organization of her collection as a whole suggests a form of storytelling, and like any story, Leibovitz begins with an introduction in writing. See more ideas about Susan sontag, Susan sontag quotes, Susan. 16 Women in Photography, Angela Strassheim, Available: http://www.wipnyc.org/blog/angela-strassheim [Accessed: 1st November]. Susan Sontag (/ ˈ s ɒ n t æ ɡ /; January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004) was an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist. Arguably, Leibovitz’s photograph of Sontag’s death encapsulates to a greater extent, visual memento mori, not for the dead but for the living. She discovered her undying love for books during her teenage. It is important to note that while this picture was taken a good six years before the one at Petra, Jordan, Leibovitz’s re-ordering of the pictures in the development of the exhibition is ostensibly intentional and further reinforces the notion of storytelling. If there was one intellect that marked postwar America, it was hers. As this work belongs to the wider oeuvre in Leibovitz’s collection “a Photographer’s Life 1990-2005”, reference will be drawn from the photograph I have chosen to other pieces in her collection. Ms. Sontag died in New York City on December 28, 2004. Two volumes of Susan Sontag’s diaries, edited by her son, David Rieff, have been published, and a third is forthcoming. 14 AnOther, Tilda Swinton’s The Maybe, Available: http://www.anothermag.com/current/view/2664/Tilda_Swintons_The_Maybe [Accessed: 3rd September]. For example, a photograph of Karen Finley at her home in Nyack, New York (1992) (Fig. She settled in … Here, the photograph manifests as raw emotion, reflection and metaphor. Sontag writes in her essay, “On Photography”, that the “…ambiguous relationship [between photographer and photograph] sets up a chronic voyeuristic relation to the world which levels the meaning of all events”. Another key feature of this photograph is how it is split into several parts overlapping each other and stitched together with sticky tape, suggesting a kind of “physical deconstruction” of Susan Sontag through Leibovitz’s eyes, while the curved formation of the newly reconstructed photograph, removes, ironically, a certain stiffness in death that the otherwise normal landscape photograph might have portrayed. Despite this, post-mortem photography would have found itself in the wider notion of visual memory in mourning processes that persist to this day. Réunies par la posture étendue et une même impression de temps … While Sontag’s death does not entail with it the same abhorrent implications, a stark contrast is struck here between Leibovitz’s photograph of death and Strassheim’s pseudo-forensic photographs. Between 1990 and 1995 she was a MacArthur Fellow. by Susan Sontag. Susan Sontag's On Photography is a seminal and groundbreaking work on the subject.Susan Sontag's groundbreaking critique of photography asks forceful questions about the moral and aesthetic issues surrounding this art form. This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.” As a result, many have criticized the ethics of Leibovitz in publishing publicly something which would conventionally be accorded greater privacy, one which Sontag herself is unable to have a say in. Illness as Metaphor, Chapter 7. January 3, 2005, 4:05 AM N EW YORK — Susan Sontag died the same week as a tsunami in south Asia killed over a hundred thousand people. Photographs are everywhere, and the 'insatiability of the photographing eye' has profoundly altered our relationship with the world. Despite no conclusive explanation given for the work, links can be drawn to the same saint-like reverence and glorification of saints that is featured in Christianity. As an inference, the candid exposure of their relationship, Sontag’s personal images and at last, her death would have been viewed as lacking in artistic qualities, and instead, as publicity modes. In the first biography to be published since her death, Daniel Schreiber portrays a glamorous woman full of contradictions and inner conflicts, whose life mirrored the cultural upheavals of her time. This was part of a larger polemic that condemned her photographs of Sontag as unethical. Instead, the image is placed silently between the pictures of Sontag returning, ill and dying from Seattle, and Leibovitz’s parents and brother. However, to condemn the exhibition to public scandal would be to indubitably, fail to recognize the significance death photography in relation to the general human condition. The addition of nudity, both of Sontag and Leibovitz herself in her works, further underlines how their relationship transcended the formal boundaries of merely purported close friendship. Lastly, this somewhat voyeuristic work also presents a nearly unrecognizable figure of this larger-than-life public intellectual that had nearly reached celebrity status at the time of her death. 19 Cara Takakjian, Book Review, Available: isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic148217.files/TakakjianSontag.htm [Accessed: 4th September]. 8Evidence No. Her father was a fur trader … Thus, audience participation may be reduced to voyeurism, whereby what is perceived is framed and objectified. 6 Elizabeth Hallam, Jenny Hockey and Glennys Howarth, Beyond the Body: Death and Social Identity, (Routledge: London), 1999. Another issue surrounding the publication of the photograph was the purported issue of Leibovitz consciously building upon Sontag’s reputation and near-celebrity status to cause scandal and publicity for her exhibition. 2Susan Sontag, Petra, Jordan199471.3 x 58.6 x 3.2 cmby Annie Leibovitz. When these pictures were published, after Sontag’s death, they ignited a fierce debate. 7), the surrounding living conditions is explored in greater depth as the bloodstains are now part of the background. Her life as female American public intellectual was not without its tribulations as well, struggling with poverty in the 1960s and her highly opinionated and sometimes opprobrious writings were met with criticism and controversy. References: The Books of Susan Sontag, Ranked A Fickle Superfan’s Guide to the Dark Lady of Letters. The subject of voyeurism can also be analyzed through a different lens, namely forensic photography. – Annie Leibovitz, A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005. Rather than mere documentation or voyeurism, it finds its place in the exhibition and marks a somber moment in the story, where death seems to be pervasive in Leibovitz’s life. She had huge ambition, indeed vanity, and hoped to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Using Bluestar solution, a latent bloodstain reagent, Strassheim exposes the once violent past of the place which now houses new residents that are sometimes unaware of the events that have taken place before. Rather, what these later concerns share is a broadly humanist outrage against injustice—an outrage which has become, thankfully, more mainstream in our culture since Sontag’s death in 2004. As the other works that I shall be expounding upon exemplify, the black and white motif is significant as it strips away any visual distractions in the photograph, thereby transporting the viewer into the heart of the photograph. Leibovitz attempts to recreate the same lethargic grace Sontag emanates in life, by dismantling physically, the stiffness of death and assembling the image to take on a more curved and even, … The modern day tradition of preserving the sanctity of death is sustained as such, through the medium of photography which is all at once, a public and private affair that is able to distance and compel the audience. Collection of sourced quotations from Illness as Metaphor (1978) by Susan Sontag. The subject of death in art can be traced far back into the 16th century, most notably in vanitas art works which originated from the Netherlands. A collection of scholarly critical articles about her work is entitled The Scandal of Susan Sontag (2009). al., Henry Lee’s Crime Scene Handbook, New York: Academic Press, 2001. The purposes of forensic photography necessitate the complete detachment of emotion, opinion or other human traits from the subject in order to achieve an objective, even calculated image. Such a look into death and relationship between subject and photographer has been documented by other contemporary photographers, such as Nobuyoshi Araki. I recently came into possession of a copy of Susan Sontag’s On Photography, and was delighted to see it contained hand-written notes made in pencil by a previous owner. 7Evidence #11, 48×602008by Angela Strassheim, Fig. This work includes an installation of an elevated glass box, the description of which reads as “Tilda Swinton. 9 The Burns Archive, The Death and Memorial Collection, Available: http://www.burnsarchive.com/Explore/Historical/Memorial/index.html [Accessed: 2nd October]. The Karen Finley picture is highly idiosyncratic of Leibovitz’s celebrity works: saturated with stark colour contrasts. At the heart of this work, and also what drew the most criticism at that time, was the interspersing of personal elements amongst the professional; by blending in previously unearthed personal photographs of Leibovitz, her family and Susan Sontag. Intriguing and quietly eerie, these images reflect forensic photography in that each of the photographs is a documentation of the evidence at a crime scene. Recreating the dead through effigies, statues or other monuments played on the immortality of such physical structures, in direct contrast to the mortality and limitations of the human body. Minimalism is evident as the image is stripped away of any unnecessary additions, and the backdrop of the house is dimmed into obscurity – instead, the residual bloodstains are luminous like constellations mapped across a night sky. 5) that not only corresponds directly to Leibovitz’s photography of Sontag’s death, but also questions again the depth of photographer/subject relationships, as well as the idea of voyeurism in death photography. In modern times, this practice went into extinction, largely because of the changing perception towards mourning practices and death in society. Share with your friends the best quotes from Illness as Metaphor. For her, this is an act of remembrance and a means of letting go. 2 David Rieff, Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son’s Memoir, (New York: Simon & Shuster, 2008), p. 150. Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was one of America’s first celebrity intellectuals. This topic of ethics and the related subject of voyeurism were championed largely by Susan Sontag’s own son, David Reiff, as well as many other critics from agencies such as the New York Times. It is the same life presented by Leibovitz in the exhibition that eventually humanizes the image of Sontag in her death for the audience. 8) features a splatter of blood glowing across the wall, draped above an unmade bed now occupied by its new inhabitants. 4 San Diego Museum of Art, Working Exhibition Checklist, Available: http://www.tfaoi.com/cm/4cm/4cm526.pdf [Accessed: 1st September]. A particular work from this collection that I would like to draw focus to is the untitled photograph of the corpse of Susan Sontag (above), laid out in its post-mortem, funerary state (Fig. 3) features a naked Karen Finley, wearing only socks with her bare back towards the camera, but languid and lying across a sofa, in a similar fashion. 1). Fig. Retrouvez [ [ [ Death Kit [ DEATH KIT ] By Sontag, Susan ( Author )Jun-01-2002 Paperback et des millions de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr. More often than not, this highly stylized, almost stale and overused characteristic underscores the figure-of-power at ease, and in Finley’s case, her tender, pale figure perhaps also enunciating eroticism. What is it to understand a work of art? The fact that he tried to kill himself only a short time ago gives the reader a clue; perhaps Diddy's version of events is not entirely reliable. While the audience is asked to participate in Leibovitz’s grief, they are also incited to “kill” Sontag. By humanizing the dead Sontag, she inevitably immortalizes Sontag into the image of Sontag alive, breathing and lying on a couch. Conversely for Araki who is well known for having sex with all his subjects before beginning his photography sessions, it is the almost lack of nudity and sex, which is idiosyncratic of his works, in “Sentimental Journey” that seems to highlight the special relationship shared between Araki and his wife. It is a pose that is contrived, and her unblemished bare back, the result of technological manipulation. While sex is a topic that is usually associated with Araki, it is the picture of his dead wife Yoko, in her funeral casket (Fig. Vanitas itself refers to “vanity”, or otherwise, the transience of life and all worldly matters and pursuits and is commonly associated with the Bible phrase from Ecclesiastes 1:2, “Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas”. October 4, 2019. 4). There’s no logical connection between these two events. 10 Elizabeth Hallam, Jenny Hockey, Death, Memory and Material Culture, (Bloomsbury Academic: Michigan), 2001, p. 133. Thus, the audience is presented with Sontag as an ordinary person, unlike the intimidating public figure often shown; as a corollary, her death was not a death of a public figure, but the death of a lover, a friend and a companion. Fig. In this photograph, instead of the “solitary and intriguing figure, a sort of prowling lioness with…the penetrating gaze of a woman who did not suffer fools gladly”, the audience gets a glimpse into a rarely seen side of this famous intellectual force. Printed on gelatin silver print, in black and white, the very subtle contrast (or lack thereof) of the white bed against the plethora of greys and black that the background and Sontag is swathed in, serves to bring out the somber tone of the subject matter. 5 The Economist, Obituary Susan Sontag, Available: http://www.economist.com/node/3535617 [Accessed: 1st October]. Susan Sontag (/ ˈ s ɒ n t æ ɡ /; January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004) was an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist. Hence, rather than carnival, the composure of Sontag in the photograph suggests only a mere slumber – the audience is invited not to gawk at her death, but rather, meditate upon this once-intimidating force of Sontag now laid to peaceful rest. — Susan Sontag “Annie Liebovitz’s pseudo-religious storyboarding of Sontag’s death with Sontag’s blessing.” Via newlinearperspectives blog. Susan tells her it’s the pain. Hence, taking into account the larger polemics of death photography, and its ethics, Leibovitz successfully transforms the corpse from the demeaned state it resides in, into a dignified process of mourning through photography. In fact the hallmark of their relationship as lovers, lies in this photograph – this is Sontag seen through Leibovitz’s lens, unfiltered and in a natural state, with light cast upon her, almost lovingly. Perhaps the epitome of this can be found in a picture, entitled “Susan at the house on Hedges Lane, Wainscott, Long Island (1988)” (Fig. 15 Lee, Henry C., et. Set against the larger backdrop of Sontag’s life however, it is this minimalism illustrated as well as the peace manifested in the moment captured that distinguishes this photograph. On Sontag's essays “Against Interpretation” (1964), “On Style” (1965), and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963). 22009by Angela Strassheim. Achetez neuf ou d'occasion Statues of saints were created for the same aforementioned purpose: with the decay of the body, and the continuity of a soul that would pass into the spiritual world, visual memory took place by using physical constructs to override the transience of the body, and as a symbol for the perpetuity of the soul. 7 Angel McRobbie, While Susan Sontag lay dying, Open Democracy, Available: http://www.opendemocracy.net/people-photography/sontag_3987.jsp [Accessed: 28th September]. Parallels can also be drawn between Sontag’s languishing figure and the commercialized photographs of models and celebrities also found in Leibovitz’s collection. Inevitably, this latest illness brings back Sontag’s first, dire cancer diagnosis in 1975. In particular, Sontag’s son David Reiff, labeled the photograph as “carnival images of celebrity death”. Disregarding the obvious suggestions of violence in Strassheim’s photographs, her series is a twist on vanitas, and the silent insinuations of an imminent death that surrounds people, even in their state of comfort and stagnancy of everyday life. This beacon of light and wit will be sorely missed, especially in light of the “dumming down” that we are witnessing in this society. In a way, this photograph also foreshadows the later photograph of Sontag in death. The many hands that are laid near his wife’s cold and placid face articulates clearly her being laid to rest – there is no question of this. Questionably, David Reiff’s criticism of the photographs as “carnival images of death” holds little truth. Prima facie, the image is aesthetically pleasing; the unmade bed seems vaguely comforting and the bloodstains, juxtaposed against the two light switches hanging down the centre, are incandescent sparks of light. It is a posture taken, not uncommon to the rest of us. 4). Sontag was a tall, handsome, fluent and articulate woman. It is a simple picture. Photography becomes a metaphor for death, and Sontag’s life and legacy is contained by these images, without being Sontag in itself. However, as the “story unfolds” through the exhibition, the depth of intimacy between photographer and subject is continuously explored and developed. The content of the images also suggest that Leibovitz’s photographs go beyond voyeurism. Via nytimes. 2, 2009” (Fig. I will be expounding upon this in greater analysis through the essay. We are going to clash about which essays are best. 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