OCA Photography Two: Documentary barry511915. Assi five : Exercise four. Post documentary photography, art and ethics.

The first point Martha Rosler, made” aesthetics is threatening to colonise our gaze.” The academics in the discussions about aesthetics ver ethics is threatening to colonise. can’t the two coexist in the one form can’t a document also be aesthetically pleasing even if those, aesthetics are not appreciated by everyone. One person’s arrogance towards a particular image would be undemocratic but to dismiss, the arrogant opinion would also be undemocratic. Can we not except that ethics and aesthetics coexist, has one you cant remove one from the other everything as aesthetics the only conclusion is to view in the context that the image was first made for.  When that context is no longer relevant or has faded over time the Image can now be viewed for its aesthetics, the two coexist like Ying and Yang. Talking about the aesthetics of an Images is like talking about water it is fluid you can’t put your finger on it it is individual to the viewer like a fingerprint, ethics, on the other hand, are manmade and have evolved over many years into a standard that can be documented into an agreed form of ethics, the problem with this idea would be the different levels of ethics people work on. The twin towers were mentioned earlier in the course an image “The Falling Man” of a man falling from one of the Towers was criticised as being insensitive and the photographer’s ethics were called in to question as he presumably not taken into consideration the relatives of the victim, where did this criticism come from it came from the unethical section of the media using the image and the controversy around the use of the image and the effect on the relatives, the media created a storm around the image for there own gain. And to this day not one relative has come forward and Identified the Falling Man as one of there relatives.

In these exercises, we talk about the desensitising effect the constant bombarding of images can have, reducing the impact that an image has on the conscience of individuals, I don’t want to be the bringer of bad news but when we talk about what Susan Sontag’s work and try and justify her stance. What we should now be saying is post desensitisation, it’s too late for debate whether it as a negative effect for the last ten years at least we have been able to gain access by use of the mobile phone to any image imaginable and from an early age, it is seen as fun to show each other the most gruesome and disturbing images possible. A new debate needs to be started and that debate should start post desensitisation.



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