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På visit i verkligheten. Fotografi och kön i slutet av 1800-talet

Petersen, Anja LU (2007)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

I centrum för avhandlingen står det fotografiska porträttet. Min utgångspunkt har varit att kombinera olika teorier om kön med intresset för fotografi. Syftet har varit att visa hur fotografiska porträtt under perioden 1850-1910 i olika sociala och kulturella relationer medverkade till att formulera skilda bilder av vad en kvinna var. För att kunna göra det jämför jag fotografiska porträtt på kvinnor hämtade från enskilda fotografers arkiv, bilder tagna såväl på sinnessjukhus som hos polis och på fängelser.



Ett normativt bildspråk växte fram i användandet av visitkortsporträtten. Det fungerade som bevis för den nya framväxande borgarklassens moraliska och estetiska ideal,... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

I centrum för avhandlingen står det fotografiska porträttet. Min utgångspunkt har varit att kombinera olika teorier om kön med intresset för fotografi. Syftet har varit att visa hur fotografiska porträtt under perioden 1850-1910 i olika sociala och kulturella relationer medverkade till att formulera skilda bilder av vad en kvinna var. För att kunna göra det jämför jag fotografiska porträtt på kvinnor hämtade från enskilda fotografers arkiv, bilder tagna såväl på sinnessjukhus som hos polis och på fängelser.



Ett normativt bildspråk växte fram i användandet av visitkortsporträtten. Det fungerade som bevis för den nya framväxande borgarklassens moraliska och estetiska ideal, position, kultivering och civilisering. De olika porträttgenrerna berättar emellertid olika historier om självbild och identitet, repetition och förändring. De är bilder av hur något gjordes synligt eller tonades ner, hur det kunde ses och hur godtagbar kunskap formulerades genom ett förment objektivt medium. En del av fotograferna hade förmåga att vända blicken från det som avbildades och istället fokusera de strukturer som var medskapare av bilder och på så sätt illustrerade de också sin förståelse av kön och av fotografiet självt.



Genom avhandlingens olika porträttgenrer kan man se att det gjordes en symbolisk investering i bilder på kvinnor i slutet av 1800-talet. Visitkortsporträtten var investeringar i stabila och förebildliga formuleringar av kvinnor efter borgerlig förlaga. Strävan efter kunskap och kontroll, den klassificeringsiver och det biograferande som utmärkte perioden, strävan efter enkla dikotomiska indelningar, trygga gränser mellan människor genom klass och i det fysiska rummet samt mellan två dikotoma kön som ger sig tillkänna i porträtten, kan förstås som strävanden efter att förklara det oroande och bevisa något tryggt i en tid som tenderade att sudda ut skillnader och göra gränser diffusa. Visitkortsporträttens populära upprepning och återskapande av sin speciella bild av kvinnor i 1800-talets Sverige fick som konsekvens att dessa bilder verkar både oföränderliga och statiska. Resultat av visitkortsperioden blev i det perspektivet fotografiska porträtt med stabiliserande effekt. Porträtten var ideologiska och politiska redskap och en möjlighet att upprätthålla gamla normer, ideal och konventioner och att skapa nya. (Less)
Abstract
"Visiting Reality: Photography and Gender at the End of the Nineteenth Century"



In the centre of the dissertation stands the photographic portrait. My point of departure has been to combine different theories of gender with an interest in photography. The aim has been to show how, during the period of 1850 to 1910, photographic portraits in different social and cultural relations contributed to formulating various images of what a woman was. To do this, I compare photographic portraits of women collected from archives of private photographers and pictures taken at a mental hospital and by police and in prisons.



A normative pictorial language developed and the portraits were able to function as measures... (More)
"Visiting Reality: Photography and Gender at the End of the Nineteenth Century"



In the centre of the dissertation stands the photographic portrait. My point of departure has been to combine different theories of gender with an interest in photography. The aim has been to show how, during the period of 1850 to 1910, photographic portraits in different social and cultural relations contributed to formulating various images of what a woman was. To do this, I compare photographic portraits of women collected from archives of private photographers and pictures taken at a mental hospital and by police and in prisons.



A normative pictorial language developed and the portraits were able to function as measures of the new bourgeoisie class's morality, aesthetic values, position, refinement and degree of civilisation. They were, above all, secure and stable representations of apparently unchanging women. However, the different portraits tell different stories of self-image and identity, repetition and change. They are pictures of how something was made visible or toned down, of what could be seen and how it could be seen, and of how acceptable information was generated through a presumed objective medium. Some of the photographers were able to turn their gaze from the image in itself and focus instead on the structures that are co-creators of images, and they used this technique to illustrate their attitude towards the understanding of the woman and towards the photograph as a medium.



Through the dissertation's different portrait genres one can see that a symbolic investment was being made in images of women at the end of the nineteenth century. Photography had the possibility to create the stability that was being sought for in industrialism's Sweden. Through constant repetitions and references, certain images of women were established at the expense of others. The portraits were ideological and political tools and a way of maintaining old norms, ideals and conventions and creating new ones. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Prof. Regener, Susanne, Sigen Universität, Tyskland
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cultural anthropology, Historia, History, 18th century, mental hospital, police, prison, visiting-cards, portrait, picture, photography, Gender, Photograph, ethnology, Kulturantropologi, etnologi
pages
184 pages
publisher
Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion
defense location
Övre salen, Palaestra i Lund
defense date
2007-05-11 10:15
ISBN
978-91-7139-795-9
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
09ff6b07-b270-4710-a0a6-cac2cce2c6f0 (old id 27193)
date added to LUP
2007-06-05 15:45:37
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:09
@misc{09ff6b07-b270-4710-a0a6-cac2cce2c6f0,
  abstract     = {"Visiting Reality: Photography and Gender at the End of the Nineteenth Century"<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In the centre of the dissertation stands the photographic portrait. My point of departure has been to combine different theories of gender with an interest in photography. The aim has been to show how, during the period of 1850 to 1910, photographic portraits in different social and cultural relations contributed to formulating various images of what a woman was. To do this, I compare photographic portraits of women collected from archives of private photographers and pictures taken at a mental hospital and by police and in prisons.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
A normative pictorial language developed and the portraits were able to function as measures of the new bourgeoisie class's morality, aesthetic values, position, refinement and degree of civilisation. They were, above all, secure and stable representations of apparently unchanging women. However, the different portraits tell different stories of self-image and identity, repetition and change. They are pictures of how something was made visible or toned down, of what could be seen and how it could be seen, and of how acceptable information was generated through a presumed objective medium. Some of the photographers were able to turn their gaze from the image in itself and focus instead on the structures that are co-creators of images, and they used this technique to illustrate their attitude towards the understanding of the woman and towards the photograph as a medium.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Through the dissertation's different portrait genres one can see that a symbolic investment was being made in images of women at the end of the nineteenth century. Photography had the possibility to create the stability that was being sought for in industrialism's Sweden. Through constant repetitions and references, certain images of women were established at the expense of others. The portraits were ideological and political tools and a way of maintaining old norms, ideals and conventions and creating new ones.},
  author       = {Petersen, Anja},
  isbn         = {978-91-7139-795-9},
  keyword      = {Cultural anthropology,Historia,History,18th century,mental hospital,police,prison,visiting-cards,portrait,picture,photography,Gender,Photograph,ethnology,Kulturantropologi,etnologi},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {184},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xab634e0)},
  title        = {På visit i verkligheten. Fotografi och kön i slutet av 1800-talet},
  year         = {2007},
}