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Assignment 3 Due 11/03/2012 Photography and Society In the 1970s, a young photographer, Kohei Yoshiyuki, captured what can be called a shocking revelation of the arcane retreat of Japan’s public sex confidence. The photograph shows couples and group of people exchanging sexual intimacies under the blanket of darkness…
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Download file to see previous pages Nevertheless, the real issue at hand is the motive behind taking the image. Clearly, there is a voyeuristic element with the way the images are being represented through the lens. It can be observed how the acts are conforming to the intended obscenity, the poor lighting, and the predating conditions before Yoshiyuki’s encounter with the couples. No one could honestly testify the real intent behind the scopophilia but judging from a critic’s point of view, there seems to be no cooperation between Yoshiyuki and the group of people. In the context of photography, while Yoshiyuki did not anticipate the happenstance, the drive that sticks him with the ongoing public demonstration could be related to personal photography, wherein he intended to seize the image for personal use (Wells 56); “here is a person making choices, not a stationary camera recording what passes before it (“Gefter, Sex in the Park, and Its Sneaky Spectators”). The photo also suggests of his nature as a photographer: a voyeur. Although, he vehemently disagreed that he is one. He asserts that “My intention was to capture what happened in the parks, so I was not a real ‘voyeur’ like them” (Gefter, “Sex in the Park, and Its Sneaky Spectators”). ...
As a matter of fact, the “curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, agrees that Yoshiyuki’s work falls into a photographic tradition” (Gefter, “Sex in the Park, and Its Sneaky Spectators”). In the past and maybe until today, “aesthetic and subject matter of the photograph was considered as only of secondary importance” (49); what is more important is the image itself. Looking at the photo, it is rather conspicuous that no artistic impression was intended; considering the ephemerality of such activity, the motive behind the photo is the image alone – an idea that conforms to personal photography – in which the practitioner was more concerned of capturing the image rather than understanding its significance. Indeed, obscenity does not entail good standing; hence, this has been discounted in the process, perhaps, due to the voyeuristic purpose of the photograph. As mentioned earlier, it can be argued that obscenity does not entail good standing. If this is so, what was the real motive of the practitioner? Voyeurism and scopophilia can be very subjective oftentimes and so Yoshiyuki, as he proclaimed himself a voyeur, points towards what he can take out of the “perfect” encounter; although, the picture expresses manifold significance in the society. The picture somehow signifies the employment of nudity as an indicator of certain types of prejudice in that body is essential to "colonial modes of power, including the processes of representation" (84). The picture relatively depicts a social stratification in the Japanese civilization, in which women are significantly controlled by the men. Photography, in history, took part in the employment of modernist thinking that criticizes “high and low cultures”, which are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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