Thursday, 28 November 2013


Lecture Overview: 

Notions of censorship and truth
The indexical qualities of photography in rendering truth
Photographic manipulation and the documentation of truth
Censorship in advertising
Censorship in art and photography

Uses the same negative over and over to change the image and say something else. Showing the importance of manipulation and how this can change an image taken at one time. 

 As their is no universal truth to what he is saying it can be seen as not important, but the message is the same.
‘Five years before coming to 
power in the 1917 October 
revolution, the Soviets 
established the newspaper 
Pravda.  For more than seven 
Decades,until the fall of 
Communism, Pravda, which 
Ironically means “truth”, served 
the Soviet Communist party by 
censoring and filtering the news 
presented to Russian and 
Eastern Europeans’

Aronson, E. and Pratkanis, A., 1992, Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion, New York, Henry Holt & Co., pages 269 - 270

He is eradicated from history here, as he fell out of favour.
 Photography has been manipulated from the beginning of its time.

 Due to photoshop it has become more of an everyday thing to see photo manipulation. 

Similar style to adbusters, twisting the advertising industry.

Who censors advertisers? 

Her legs were elongated for the cover shot, but later pictures show this manipulation.

 Photography from the iraq war showing how two images can create a different scene. The photographer complained when they were published.

Robert Capa - a pseudonym created for a photographer to work under. Was working alongside the socialist working against the franco regime. 
A suitcase was found with negatives of the work, the contact sheets show the point at which the soldier dies, but for years it has been dubious. 
In spain fighting stops on both sides for a siesta. The photograph was staged at lunch time, but the opposite side shot the soldier, thinking it was tactics. 
So the photo is real death, in a false setting. 

‘With lively step, breasting the wind, clenching their rifles, they ran down the slope covered with thick stubble. Suddenly their soaring was interrupted, a bullet whistled - a fratricidal bullet - and their blood was drunk by their native soil’ – caption accompanying the photograph inVue magazine

A poetic image to accompany the photo. Adds to the image.

Persuasion - ‘a deliberate and
successful attempt by one person 
to get another person by appeals 
to reason to freely accept beliefs,
attitudes, values, intentions, or
Tom L. Beauchamp, Manipulative Advertising, 1984

Questions that a certain image with a certain caption cam change the way we view it. 
Jean Baudrillard

‘Whereas representation tries to absorb 
simulation by interpreting it as false 
representation, simulation envelops the 
whole edifice of representation as itself 
a simulacrum.  These would be the 
succesive phases of the image:
It is the reflection of a basic reality.
It masks and perverts a basic reality.
It masks the absence of a basic reality.
It bears no relation to any reality whatever : it is its own pure simulacrum.’

Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations, 1981, in Poster, M. (ed.) (1988), Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge, Polity Press, page 173

‘As we approach the likelihood of a new Gulf War, I have an idea and it occurs to me that the Digital Journalist may be the place for it. As we all know, the military pool system created then was meant to be, and was, a major impediment for photojournalists in their quest to communicate the realities of war (This fact does not diminish the great efforts, courage, and many important images created by many of my colleagues who participated in these pools.). Aside from that, while you would have a very difficult time finding an editor of an American publication today that wouldn't condemn this pool system and its restrictions during the Gulf War, most publications and television entities more or less bought the program before the war began (this reality has been far less discussed than the critiques of the pools themselves)’
Peter Turnley, The Unseen Gulf War, December 2002, at 

This is written between the first and second gulf wars. It discusses the fact that photographers in the war were controlled by the US forces, and therefor were censored in how they could convey a truth. What we are given is what we are wanted to see. 

‘I refused to participate in the pool system. I was in the Gulf for many weeks as the build-up of troops took place, and then sat out the "air war", and flew from Paris to Riyadh as soon as the ground war began. I arrived at the "mile of death" the morning the day the war stopped. It was very early in the morning and few other journalists were present. When I arrived at the scene of this incredible carnage, strewn all over on this mile stretch were cars and trucks with wheels still turning, radios still playing, and there were bodies scattered along the road. Many people have asked the question "how many people died" during the war with Iraq and the question has never been well answered. That first morning, I saw and photographed a U.S. Military 'graves detail' bury in large graves many bodies’. 

Peter Turnley, The Unseen Gulf War, December 2002, at 

He has written this to not convey his poitn of view, but to offer a thought that we as the viewer need to undertstand what images we are given. 

The "Mile of Death". During the night of the 25th of February and the day of the 26th of February, 1991, Allied aircraft strafed and bombed a stretch of the Jahra Highway. A large convoy of Iraqis were trying to make a haste retreat back to Baghdad, as the Allied Forces retook Kuwait City. Many Iraqis were killed on this highway. Estimates vary on the precise number of Iraqis killed during the Gulf War. Very few images of Iraqi dead have been previously published

“It is a masquerade of 
Information: branded 
faces delivered over to 
the prostitution of the 
Jean Baudrillard, The 
Gulf War Did not Take Place, 1995, p.40

‘It is the de-intensified state of war, that of the right
to war under the green light of the UN and with an
abundance of precautions and concessions.  It is
the bellicose equivalent of safe sex: make war like
love with a condom!  On the Richter scale, the Gulf
War would not even reach two or three.  The build
up is unreal, as though the fiction of an earthquake
were created by manipulating the measuring

Jean Baudrillard, The Gulf War Did Not Take Place, 1995, in Poster, M. (ed.) (1988), Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge, Polity Press, page 233

Claiming the Gulf war was ran as more of a media spectacle. Even the time it started coincided with  western time for coverage.  He attempted to show images of the war.

‘Most of the reporting that reached American audience and the west in general emanated from the Pentagon, hence severely lacking balance, as proven by the total blackout on the magnitude of the devastation and death on the Iraqi side. A quick statement of the number of dead (centered around 100,000 thousands soldiers and 15,000 civilians) sufficed for main-stream media audience. It is no wonder that this made-for-TV war started at 6:30pm EST on January 16, 1991, coinciding with National News. Alas, much of American audience today cannot distinguish between computer war games and real war, between news and entertainment’.

Similar point that the start of the  war  was too conveinient. That the news released is from the pentagon. 

An-My Le

 ‘Suppose that a picture of a 
young woman inserting a 
chocolate bar into her mouth
makes one person think of 
fellatio, but someone else 
says that this meaning says
more about the observer 
than it does the picture.  This 
kind of dispute, with its
assumption that meaning 
resides in a text quite 
independently of individual 
and group preconceptions, is 
depressingly common in
discussions on advertising 

… as the picture does not 
in fact depict fellatio, but 
something else, what the 
dispute comes down to is 
whether everyone, a 
substantial number of 
people, a few obsessed 
individuals, or one particular 
person, understand it this 
way.  Without an opinion 
poll, the dispute is 
unresolvable, but it is really 
quite improbable that such 
an interpretation will 
be individual’

Cook, G. (1992), The Discourse of Advertising, London, Routledge, page 51

Became famous for it's sexual ambiguity. Does it say something about the advertisers or the person that makes the connection to fellatio. 

Questioning notions of racism, sexuality, illness.
The top right is depicting a dying aids sufferer, but it also resembles christ. In a very christian country it caused a huge stir.

 Effectively the advert getting banned can generate as much publicity as it staying in place.
Can there be anything as innocent as the birth of a child? But this advert was banned, suggesting otherwise.

Huge billboard campaign. Which caused widespread offence.
The main issue was that a nipple was visable. The image and ecstacy from the model was less important that a slight nipple. 

It also was allowed to run in editorials on a vertical page. This was seen as less offensive. 

The foot in this image was used in a monty python sketch, This period of art is where figure were being anatomically challenged in paintings.

Germain Greer - Wrote about this painting. It is a mother and son, but the intimacy is slightly questionable in our society. As it is a painting and seen in classical tradition it is seem as acceptable.


Highly sexualised images of young girls. Hint towards sexual intensity that may have, or may be about to happen.

Recreating of a classical painting for a record cover. The singer was 15, which raises questions about cultural perceptions of pedodfilia. 

 Asks the question wether candy cigarettes should be available to buy.

Documents her family growing up. It has been questioned wether this is damaging the the children, and should be made available. 

The children have since grown up, and have said they had no problem with the images, To them it was something innocent and sweet. 

The sensationist view that would be expected of the daily mail. The gallery was closed down for 4 days while the police investigated the images.

Brooke Shields at around 9-10 years old. Her mother allowed the photoshoot and the image was published in a magazine. 

The police advised the image be pulled, so this sticker was used to cover up the image.

To readjust the balance Brooke Shields did a shoot as a grown woman as a way of reclaiming her own body.