Tbb Culture Part Eleven: Fashion and the Image

1 January 2017

Photography as been seen as lightweight end of photography due to it`s close relationship to the fashion industry, which is dependent on fast turnover; transitory, commercial Fashion advertisement in particular is seen as denying the purity of the image > shows the typical, stylised instead of the unique moment/event; has nothing artistic (stylised fashion shoot, controlled, created, unnatural, uniform and monotone, all are essentially the same in their aim to sell clothes) captured moment in “real” photography is most powerful point in which the real world reproduces itself Walter Benjamin, 1940`ies:

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Although photography has its origins in reproduction of nature by the machine, fashion and advertisement photography must be studied as a process of mechanical reproduction of the contrived (arrangiert) moment 80`ies/90`ies: Fashion photography reflects segmentation of the fashion market place between mass production and couture: > upper end: blurred images which reject garment and human body rely on viewer`s familiarity with designer`s logo (e. g. Yamomoto, Miyake, Comme des Garcons); connection to art > mass-production end: mail ordering catalogues; emphasise our awareness of self-image and establish a relationship USA: not “impressionistic”, but “lifestyle” images on both ends of the market Brooks is a feminist > highlights Power relations and heightened sexuality in work by Newton & Bourdin 1970`ies: No recognisable ideal; Models came off an assembly line; No individuality;

Converting utopias into dystopias Helmut Newton: manipulating Stereotypes ictures raise questions about what is going on > no obvious product pictures are distant from viewer; settings are unusual and strange uses technology / film / art artificiality is emphasised pictures presented as alien rather than as an invitation; they are both: general & typical, restricted & individual stereotyping through suppression of awareness of stereotype and by identification with the unique model as object; they are so completely stereotyped that they become unreal (e. g. mixing dummies with real models for French Vogue in 1977) > poses appear dead and frozen; strange with a discontinuous, fragmented nature (like film stills); completely malleable (nothing to do with reality)

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