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Death (in the Eye) of the Beholder : An Encounter with Victorian Post-mortem Photography

Mendelyté, Aténé LU (2012) In Synaesthesia: Communication across Cultures 1(3). p.84-90
Abstract
This article deals with the earliest version of post-mortem photography concentrating on the effects of such pictures on the present-day viewer. The encounter with these artefacts begins from a phenomenological point of view as I try to describe my personal experience of coming face to face with the image. I claim that the relation between the perceiver and the photograph does not just simply change but remains constantly vacillating between the modes of life and death. The shock of this constant oscillation is explained in terms of the opening of the Lacanian Real, of the subject turning into an abject/object which enacts the perceiver’s own ... (More)
This article deals with the earliest version of post-mortem photography concentrating on the effects of such pictures on the present-day viewer. The encounter with these artefacts begins from a phenomenological point of view as I try to describe my personal experience of coming face to face with the image. I claim that the relation between the perceiver and the photograph does not just simply change but remains constantly vacillating between the modes of life and death. The shock of this constant oscillation is explained in terms of the opening of the Lacanian Real, of the subject turning into an abject/object which enacts the perceiver’s own constant (wish and) fear as well as marks the re-emergence of the aspect of our psyche from which the cultural and the symbolic protect us. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Victorian post, mortem photography, spectrality , photophobia, Lacanian Real, pictorial desire, phenomenology
in
Synaesthesia: Communication across Cultures
volume
1
issue
3
pages
84 - 90
ISSN
1883-5953
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f3f0bc93-15cf-4684-8c4f-ac5d67314e74 (old id 4092814)
alternative location
http://www.synaesthesiajournal.com/uploads/7/3/4/7/73473431/mendelyte_v1_n3.pdf
date added to LUP
2013-10-17 16:26:11
date last changed
2016-11-01 09:41:36
@article{f3f0bc93-15cf-4684-8c4f-ac5d67314e74,
  abstract     = {This article deals with the earliest version of post-mortem photography concentrating  on  the  effects  of  such  pictures on  the  present-day viewer.  The  encounter  with  these  artefacts  begins  from  a  phenomenological  point  of  view  as  I  try  to  describe  my  personal  experience  of coming  face  to  face  with  the  image.  I  claim  that  the  relation  between the  perceiver  and  the  photograph  does  not  just  simply  change  but remains  constantly  vacillating  between  the  modes  of  life  and  death. The  shock  of  this  constant  oscillation  is  explained  in  terms  of  the opening   of   the   Lacanian   Real,   of   the   subject   turning   into   an abject/object  which  enacts  the  perceiver’s  own  constant  (wish  and) fear  as  well  as  marks  the  re-emergence  of  the  aspect  of  our  psyche from which the cultural and the symbolic protect us.},
  author       = {Mendelyté, Aténé},
  issn         = {1883-5953},
  keyword      = {Victorian post,mortem photography,spectrality ,photophobia,Lacanian Real,pictorial desire,phenomenology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {84--90},
  series       = {Synaesthesia: Communication across Cultures},
  title        = {Death (in the Eye) of the Beholder : An Encounter with Victorian Post-mortem Photography},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2012},
}