Zarina Bhimji: photography, representation and the universal

Lang, Martin (2023) Zarina Bhimji: photography, representation and the universal. Trebuchet (13). ISSN 1753-030X

Zarina Bhimji: photography, representation and the universal
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Item Type:Article
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British philosopher Roger Scruton (1944 – 2020) famously declared that photography cannot “represent” anything, but only “present” it. (1981) This article argues that Scruton’s thesis must be overturned, by demonstrating how photographs can be shown to not only “present” (in the documentary sense) but also “represent” (feelings and/or universal concepts). It does this by applying Leo Tolstoy’s philosophy of art (1898) to an analysis of the Ugandan-Indian artist Zarina Bhimji’s photographs. Combining Scruton’s and Tolstoy’s terms of reference helps to develop a framework that gets to the very heart of what makes image-making art. Somewhat ironically, this analysis validates Scruton’s proposition that representation is the key ingredient to make an artwork – if we take representation to be concerned with the intentional communication of feelings.

Keywords:Photography, Artistic representation, universal principles, Colonialism, Postcolonialism, Memory, Feelings, Tolstoy, Roger Scruton
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
W Creative Arts and Design > W640 Photography
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Creative Arts > Lincoln School of Creative Arts (Fine Arts)
ID Code:53178
Deposited On:14 Feb 2023 10:51

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