“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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Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Discuss the French term for the lens objectif and its relation to the photographic sensibility. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Reality is transferred from the thing to the reproduction.

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

ontolkgy South Yorkshire England View all posts by A. The process might reveal that at the origin of painting and sculpture there lies a mummy complex. This objectivity and realism, however, are only constructions of the mechanical processes of photography. He compares this practice to the birth of the plastic arts. From statues, palaces, portraits to tombs influential men have commissioned and produced art to represent themselves and the world they live in.

Your email address will not be published. We accept the object before us in photography as credible, really existing, and actually re-presented. This being said, photography and cinema have freed mankind from the obsession of illusion in painting because they themselves satisfy our obsession with realism.

However, it is my opinion that though, Bazin generalized mummy complex to humankind, he himself was somehow fascinated with the anere of human immortalization after death and the various ways people tried to achieve it via painting, sculpture etc. The photograph is no more real than a painting or sculpture but to Bazin it reproduces reality rather than creates an ersatz, or replacement, as does sculpture.


Do you agree or disagree? Post was not sent – check your email addresses! To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here FYI — I read the biographical information in Wikepedia. Photography did not perfect the physical process color, etc. 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 baxin is more eternal than a photograph.

Photography affects us like a phenomenon in nature, like a flower or a snowflake whose vegetable or earthly origins are an inseparable part of their beauty.

It was andrs to awaken people from a false reality and a false consciousness. Email required Address never made public. Photography and cinema are plastic realisms. Notify me of new comments via email. They freed the plastic arts from their obsession with likeness. With the birth of photography phtoographic the birth of photo modification and editing and films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Another point of difficulty Bazin encounters is that of a causal link.

I disagree if he meant it in literal sense. Just another Sites at Lafayette College site. The Ontology of the Photographic Image.

Log In Sign Up. The artist and his genius are not present in photography like in painting. However I would agree with your statement: Andre Bazin is undoubtedly a famous figure in film criticism and film theory. Is there anything in the English language or any other language that you speak that refers to that sense in photography?

However, if one reads the article carefully, Bazin too was not in total agreement with his statement. Photography and film can make us believe things that may or may not be not real.

He states that there is a basic psychological need in man to outwit time and preserving a bodily appearance is fulfilling this desire. 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.


In the race of immortalizing humanity, painting and sculpture could only create the illusion of cheating death but photographic re-production could take out a moment in a given time and space.

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

Why or why not? Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Help Center Find new research papers in: Benjamin refers to Dadaism as an attack on reason, logic, materialism, and nationalism through the arts. In ancient Egypt the plastic arts, like statuary, were substitutes for dead bodies. Benjamin, however, went further in his argument that photography and film are harmful.

They both create realities in their re-presentations. In the fifteenth century, Western painting turned from a concern with spiritual realities and immage to one in which spiritual expression is combined with an imitation of the outside world that is as close as possible to reality.

In simple words, Bazin means to say is that our eye, in general, loves beautiful things sunsets, landscapes, pretty things, baroque paintings etc.

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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.