chapter 2 reading review

Zinnia Upson


Photo 2
In this week’s readings in Jae Emerling’s “Photography History and Theory” chapter 2 Frame (matter and memory) we read about the frame and how it is merely a border rather than a fence. The frame is just a physical aspect to the viewer’s eye or the aesthetic but we learn it holds much more than that. There is much more conceptually behind how and the way a photograph is framed. The chapter eventually got into the framework of photography itself “The seductiveness of such essentialist notions are enhanced and amplified by photography because of its “structural paradox” which is how a photograph can be at once objective and tendentious (bias, cultural, mythic) the paradox Barthes identifies is that in a photographic image that connoted or coded message develops on the basis of a message without a code because of the conoted and denoted messages are enfolded or imbricated, one within the other.” (79) Here Emerling talks about how a photo can have semiotics and linguistics embedded beyond the physical complexion of a photograph. “The photograph process is an evidential force, and that its testimony bears not on the object but on time.” this shift from the object – how it is meaning and rhetoric is produced and functions – to temporality has important consequences for any conception of the photographic image, whether document or work.”  Emerling also talks about the force of photography holding archival time and a snapshot of time.


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