Friday, March 09, 2007

Sontag on Photography

I'm reading Susan Sontag's On Photography for book club.

So far, she's not too happy with photography. The camera aggressively "appropriates" an image, and metaphorically "rapes" its subject. How's that for a Marxist / Freudian critique of picture-taking?

She seems at pains to fight off a certain idea, namely that a picture is worth a thousand words. You can see where that relative valuation might not appeal to a writer.

She keeps emphasizing that ethics and politics, in words, are irreplaceable by photos. That's true. But her ethics and politics keep sounding like radical chic to me.

Oddly enough, there were always a lot of striking photographs of her floating around.

For someone who thought it was not so hot.
She sure got "shot" a lot.

No comments: