To See and To be Seen; the subject as concentric force.

..the gaze may trap the subject, the subject may trap the gaze. This is the function of the screen: to negotiate a laying down of the gaze as in the laying down of a weapon (The Return of the Real. Foster, 1996. 140)’


For Buadrillard, the subject is a concentric force. Honestly when i came across this idea in his writings I was a little confused as to the distinction he suggest exist between the subject and the object.

for me the subject is predominantly a concentric force, whereas the object is an extrinsic force- thats more or less how i conceive of the pataphysical‘ (Baudrillard, p42 1997)

the object as an extrinsic force is what pulls the subject, the concentric force, to create the image. How i see it, this pull, this ‘extrinsic force’ is triggered by a desire  that is mediated by the interest of the subject in question. Photography as art has always been questioned and it is because of the absence of the artist that is apparent within photography compared to, say painting. With a painting you are able to see the authority of the artist through his brush strokes. Photography as a mechanical sort of art form requires no strokes but rather, a click of the button. with that being said, the authority of the photographer as the artist of an image is brought into question.

the subject of the photograph is often voiceless, unable to contest his or her depiction. often the photographer barely knows the person, yet the image could be used to define a person or to represent a certain theme‘ (Ritchin, 2009. p150)

The voiceless photographer consequentially produces the art without a hand, a kind of art that distances the subject from his work because we do not see his authority, the photographers position as an artist is thus contested. But this is not true and it is the resolution of this apparent contest that I particular find photography interesting.

The thing is like every other art, it is all about perspective, and this is also true in photography. We might not see the strokes used to form perspective by the photographer, but we see the perspective of a photographer. lets say for example, a friend- Olu and I go to a beach to feel the hot sun on our bare faces and gaze upon the sun set as it begins to sink down into the waters. we both pull out our phones to capture this beautiful (or sublime) moment; based on perspective, our two pictures cannot be the same. It might look the same (which I doubt) but these two pictures are never the same. Olu and I have both experienced this moment, but how we read this moment and then go on to capture this moment on our phones, is based on perspective. The perspective of the photographer is his/her authority upon the image.


what journey have i made? what story do i have to tell? I have to tell a story in (15) pictures. We have been told to make it personal, create a journey that is personal to us. Lets see how this goes.


Baudrillard, Jean and Nicholas Zurbrugg. Jean Baudrillard. London: SAGE Publications, 1997. Print.

Foster, Hal. The Return Of The Real. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996. Print.

Ritchin, Fred. After Photography. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. Print.

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