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Photography as Metaphor

As Susan Sontag has eloquently pointed out, photographic images, because of their inherent fluidity and their ability to shape our perception of what is "real," are remarkably powerful tools: "[N]otions of image and reality are complementary. When the notion of reality changes, so does that of the image, and vice versa."[1] In this ‘rhetoric of the Image’, reality and image, the represented and the representation, intermingle and metamorphose. Reality may turn out to be nothing but a projected image, and an image can become a perceived reality. In photographic images, as with the other media of modern visual culture, conflicting meanings and ideologies are presented and negotiated: indeed the nation state itself can come to work out its relation to the past and future, creating or recreating a self-image through a carefully constructed iconography.

[1] Sontag, Susan. 1977. On photography. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.