By David Campany
What did the coming of cinema do for images? How did the relocating photograph swap our relation to the nonetheless snapshot? Why have cinema and images been so attracted to one another? Close-ups, freeze frames and the numerous portrayals of photographers on reveal are symptoms of cinema’s enduring allure to the nonetheless photograph. Photo-stories, sequences and staged tableaux converse of the deep impression of cinema on photography.
Photography and Cinema a considers the significance of the nonetheless picture for filmmakers corresponding to the Lumière brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Mark Lewis, Agnès Varda, Peter Weir, Christopher Nolan etc. In parallel it appears on the cinematic within the paintings of photographers and artists that come with Germaine Krull, William Klein, John Baldessari, Jeff Wall, Victor Burgin and Cindy Sherman.
From movie stills and flipbooks to slip exhibits and electronic imaging, hybrid visible varieties have confirmed an ambiguous realm among movement and stillness. David Campany assembles a lacking background within which images and cinema were each one other’s muse and thought for over a century.
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It could suggest robust youth leading to a long life or the imminence of an early death. We cannot tell if this is Truffaut’s certainty about how to bring things to a conclusion or his apprehension. Through the still he manages to end without concluding, opting for what is in effect the essential openness of the photographic image. 35 While the freeze frame may show the world at a standstill, it cannot articulate the experience of such a state. Faced with a freeze the viewer is thrown out of identification with the image and left to gaze upon its sudden impenetrability.
But by the 1950s speed had lost much of its artistic appeal and almost all its critical potential, particularly in Europe. Beyond the sobering effects of the war, modernity had developed a terrifying autonomy, not least at the level of the image. The ‘society of the spectacle’, diagnosed by Guy Debord in 1967 but intimated much earlier, relied upon the breathless turnover of popular culture with is ephemeral advertising, commodified news and droning television. Speed and montage were degenerating from the promise of mass mobilization into mass distraction.
Moreover, there is an improbable perfection in Wall’s picture. The bleak setting on the dirt ground cannot quite anchor its realism. It is as if photographic arrestedness, so in thrall to the decisive moment as a ‘slice of life’, demands imperfection somewhere. Perhaps Wall’s perfectionism is its own deliberate undoing, allowing the viewer an entry point. Indeed, formal perfection in art often seems to have this effect. In other contexts, however, the stakes are quite different, as a comparison between Wall’s image and Don McCullin’s reportage shot of a Turkish gunman in Cyprus demonstrates.