(Roughly) Daily

Seeing is…

Photographic fakery has been a continuing theme here at (R)D (e.g., here), so readers can imagine your correspondent’s excitement at this new museum show:

While digital photography and image-editing software have brought about an increased awareness of the degree to which camera images can be manipulated, the practice of doctoring photographs has existed since the medium was invented. Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the first major exhibition devoted to the history of manipulated photography before the digital age…

Faking It is divided into seven sections, each focusing on a different set of motivations for manipulating the camera image. “Picture Perfect” explores 19th-century photographers’ efforts to compensate for the new medium’s technical limitations—specifically, its inability to depict the world the way it looks to the naked eye…

For early art photographers, the ultimate creativity lay not in the act of taking a photograph but in the subsequent transformation of the camera image into a hand-crafted picture. “Artifice in the Name of Art” begins in the 1850s…

“Politics and Persuasion” presents photographs that were manipulated for explicitly political or ideological ends…

“Novelties and Amusements” brings together a broad variety of amateur and commercial photographs intended to astonish, amuse, and entertain…

“Pictures in Print” reveals the ways in which newspapers, magazines, and advertisers have altered, improved, and sometimes fabricated images in their entirety to depict events that never occurred—such as the docking of a zeppelin on the tip of the Empire State Building…

“Mind’s Eye” features works from the 1920s through 1940s by such artists as Herbert Bayer, Maurice Tabard, Dora Maar, Clarence John Laughlin, and Grete Stern, who have used photography to evoke subjective states of mind, conjuring dreamlike scenarios and surreal imaginary worlds…

The final section, “Protoshop,” presents photographs from the second half of the 20th century by Yves Klein, John Baldessari, Duane Michals, Jerry Uelsmann, and other artists who have adapted earlier techniques of image manipulation—such as spirit photography or news photo retouching—to create works that self-consciously and often humorously question photography’s presumed objectivity…

More on the exhibit, which runs through January 27 (and is sponsored by Adobe :), at the Met’s web site; a nifty illustrated review, at The Verge.

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As we squint, we might send contemplative greetings to Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius.  A Christian philosopher of the 6th Century, Boëthius was the son of a North African Roman consul, who rose himself to consul…  until he was imprisoned and eventually executed (in 524 or 525 CE) by Theodoric the Great, who suspected him of conspiring with the Eastern Roman Empire.  While in confinement, Boëthius wrote Consolation of Philosophy, one of the most influential works of the Middle Ages– and one that established him (quoth Lorenzo Valla) as the last of the Roman and the first of the Scholastic philosophers.

Boëthius was canonized by the Catholic Church as a martyr.  While the precise date of his birth (around 480 CE) is unknown, this is his Feast Day.

Boethius teaching his students (initial in a 1385 Italian manuscript of Consolation of Philosophy.)

 source

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