Monday, September 5, 2011

Excerpts from readings...


"The ultimate effect of punctum is the intimation of death. This Barthes realizes in the personal context of his bereavement over the still recent death of his mother; looking at a portrait of her as a young girl (a picture he declines to reproduce in ''Camera Lucida''), he sees that her death implies his own. From this he arrives at the broad conclusion that every photograph contains the sign of his death, and that the essence of photography is the implied message: ''That has been.'' It is no coincidence that Barthes is given to quoting Proust; Proust's obsession with memory is Barthes's obsession with death. Proust's immense powers of recall embody all that Barthes hopes to extract from a photograph but which, intractably, the photograph refuses to yield.
''It is the fashion, nowadays, among Photography's commentators (sociologists and semiologists), to seize upon a semantic relativity: no 'reality' (great scorn for the 'realists' who do not see that the photograph is always coded), nothing but artifice. ... The realists, of whom I am one ... do not take the photograph for a 'copy' of reality, but for an emanation of past reality: a magic, not an art.'' For followers of Barthes's thought the message is clear: Increasingly, Barthes sensed a disparity between the way semiotics described the world and the way he perceived it as lived."

"For the past decade and a half, he has been creating installations that explore his longstanding interest in identity, narrative and biography. In these haunting installations which use light bulbs, shadows, blurred 2nd or 3rd-generation prints made from found or borrowed family photos, clothing, and linen, the artist presents personal histories which expose photography's ties to memory, loss, and mourning, as well as its vulnerabilities to the claim of truth.

Through the appropriation of amateur photography and the methodology of inventory, presentation, and display, Boltanski's seemingly objective archive of the artifacts of everyday life (a family snapshot; an article of clothing) can be seen as an attempt to reconstitute history, collective memory, and individual childhood(s). In reconstructing family histories, he is engaged simultaneously in an inventory of the real and the willing creation of myth."

Wiki definitions

Death is the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. The word refers both to the particular processes of life's cessation as well as to the condition or state of a formerly living body. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or intentional trauma resulting in terminal injury.

The nature of death has been for millennia a central concern of the world's religious traditions and ofphilosophical enquiry, and belief in some kind of afterlife or rebirth has been a central aspect of religious faith.

Hospice is a type of care and a philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient's symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, spiritual or social in nature. The concept of hospice has been evolving since the 11th century. Then, and for centuries thereafter, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded, or dying, as well as those for travelers and pilgrims. The modern concept of hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill given in such institutions as hospitals or nursing homes, but also care provided to those who would rather die in their own homes. It began to emerge in the 17th century, but many of the foundational principles by which modern hospice services operate were pioneered in the 1950s by Dame Cicely Saunders. Although the movement has met with some resistance, hospice has rapidly expanded through the United Kingdom, the United States and elsewhere.

Sunday, September 4, 2011