No. 44 – The uses and role of photography in the presentation of appearances and reality, and representations and manipulations and distortions of the same reality:

The uses and role of photography in the presentation of appearances and reality, and representations and manipulations and distortions of the same reality:

A photograph is like a mirror image and does not lie but tells the truth faithfully and sincerely, and presents a true and faithful record of reality as it exists at that moment in time. So it is a record, a factual observation and record and document.

Manipulating the photograph automatically results in a distortions, manipulation, and misrepresentation of reality and the facts, so then the record is no longer the truth, but becomes a fiction, an illusion, a lie, and Maya.
All along in Knorr’s lecture (Delhi Photo Festival 2013 | Artist Talk – Karen Knorr (courtesy Tasveer) watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUMFkH5pRyQ ), I had been led by her to believe, that she had used live Tigers in the Architecture and I was moved by her photo of the Tigers parading in the monument. It is only at the end of the lecture when somebody in the audience asked her whether she had used stuffed Tigers or real ones did she admit that she had “photo-shopped” the Tigers from photograph she had taken of the Tigers in a different habitat but had combined the images and merged the two separate realities to create and altogether artificial and imaginary and fictitious one.

Also in her lecture she had mentioned that she had used for aesthetic purposes a Black Bug in an image of the tomb of the Emperor Humayan.

So as a naïve viewer, what do I find her work telling me about her work and her frame of reference? So I conclude that she is not only manipulating the images and reality, but is also a bigot as well, just as she had used the same phrase in describing other people elsewhere in her lecture.
An alternative is to let these things go by, but then for how long and for what reasons, and how many distortions and misrepresentations are going to be let to go by? Where does it begin and where does it end? Are silent (and salient) witnesses a fact of reality, or collaborators, or indifferent audiences or simply unaware?

Mubeen Mughal
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday 21st January 2015.

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