OCA Learning Blog
All in Part 3
Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to refine my ideas for the critical review. I’ve found a number of images which have been reused in the media. These images have been taken from their original contexts and used to provide a visual cue to a more recent news item.
Tragically, photojournalist, Tim Hetherington, was killed by shrapnel , whilst covering the Libyan Civil War, on 20th April 2011. His photographs rightfully received many accolades, bringing many conflict zones to the public’s attention.
Mobile phones now come with a decent camera and and internet capabilities as standard. Most people now have the capability of a mobile broadcasting unit in their pocket. Everyone’s a photographer and a photojournalist.
Before this advance in digital technology, any newsworthy images would have been taken by seasoned professionals who would have abided by their own ethical standards. The tabloids would also have had a loyal readership, so the need for sensationalism was not as paramount.
Photography has come full circle. Before Fox Talbot and Daguerre were able to permanently ‘fix’ the photographic image, the camera obscura offered a method of temporarily displaying an image.
On the evening of the 14th June 2017, a huge fire engulfed a 27 storey tower block in West London. The image above shows the Grenfell Tower, in north Kensington, fully ablaze. Sadly, 71 people died in the inferno.
In his book, 'After Photography', author Fred Ritchen discusses the influence of the digital world on the photograph. Previously, analog photographs would be passed around and viewed at social gatherings, and then returned to the owner. Some of those photographs may have been worthy of being framed, enjoying a more public space - perhaps hung on a wall, or placed on a mantle piece, for any visitor to look at.
Surrounded by professional photographers, with their top notch DSLRs, Karen Anvil captured her photograph with an iPhone SE. The image shows Kate, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle smiling directly at the camera, connecting with the viewer. After taking her picture, Karen Anvil posted it on her Twitter feed. The tags and image content instantly appealed to media outlets across the UK and the rest of the world.
Instagram, insta-art, insta-cash! New York based artist, Richard Prince, has raided Instagram accounts, grabbed the images, and made a lot of money. His ‘New Portraits’ exhibition is appropriation of the highest order.