The Ontology Of The Photographic Image Analysis

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The Ontology of the Photographic Image
André Bazin André Bazin through “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” examines how the mechanically produced photographic image is superior to the manual plastic arts for preserving humans and reality through representation. Bazin explores the existence of the photographic image through his essay.
Plastic arts were used in the Egyptian civilization to preserve human beings. The statues were a magic identity-substitute for the dead. The religion of ancient Egypt aimed against death and thus by preserving the flesh and bone they wanted to defeat death and halt the passage of time, for death was the victory of time. For them survival was the practice of embalming the dead corporeal body and it satisfied
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According to Bazin, today no one recognizes the ontological link between the body and a representation: “No one believes any longer in the ontological identity of model and image, but all are agreed that the image helps us to remember the subject and to preserve him from a second spiritual death”.
The need for survival after death is no longer a concern for the arts, instead, now the focus is on “the creation of an ideal world in the likeness of the real, with its own temporal identify.” Today the plastic arts aim to create a virtual world that is near the realms of realism and has nothing to do with life and afterlife. This explains why photography and cinema caused “the great spiritual and technological crisis that overtook modern painting” in the 1850s.
A varied balance between the symbolic and realism has been struck world over by the painting. In the fifteenth century Western painting began to turn from its age- old concern with spiritual realities towards an effort to combine this spiritual expression with as complete an imitation as possible of the outside
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"The photographic image is the object itself, the object freed from the conditions of time and space that govern it. No matter how fuzzy, distorted, or discolored, no matter how lacking, in documentary value the image may be, it shares, by virtue of the very process of its be- coming, the being of the model of which it is the reproduction; it is the model." "Photography does not create eternity, as art does, it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption. The aesthetic qualities of photography are to be sought in its power to lay bare the realities."
Film takes photography to another level. Film, or the cinema “is objectivity in time.” For the first time with film “the image of things is likewise the image of their duration, change mummified as it were”.
Bazin argues "only the impassive lens, stripping its object of all those ways of seeing it, those piled- up preconceptions, that spiritual dust and grime with which my eyes have covered it, are able to present it in all its virginal purity to my attention and consequently to my love. By the power of photography, the natural image of a world that we neither know nor can know, nature at last does more than imitate art: she imitates the

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