Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Henry VIII

This is a photograph by Hiroshi Sugimoto of a waxwork of King Henry VIII. My sense is that we instinctively want a photograph to represent a literal point of view (and that we assume it does). That is to say, it's a mechanical record of what the eye sees from a particular vantage point. But Sugimoto's photographs appear to be taken from a vantage point that no one could possibly occupy (I don't mean in space or even in time - I mean something like, they record a special mode of seeing to which we don't normally have access). This picture involves us in thinking through methods of reproduction, the way they interact with one another and our world, and how we experience these overlapping visualities (cf. Hans Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII).

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