The Simulacrum


One Image Two Minutes pages now available on Scalar and due on May 21.
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Ridley Scott, Blade Runner (Melody), 1982.











Diane Arbus, Identical Twins, 1966.











Diane Arbus made the ordinary bizarre:


Diane Arbus, A young Brooklyn family going on a Sunday outing, 1966.











and the unusual natural:
Diane Arbus, A family one evening in a nudist camp, 1965.
Diane Arbus, Jewish Giant and Parents, Bronx, NY, 1970.











Diane Arbus, Child with a Toy Hand Grenade, 1970.











Diane Arbus, Untitled, 1970 - 1971.
Diane Arbus, Masked Woman in Wheel Chair, 1970.











Vietnam War
1955 - 1975
Vietnam 1960s
Young Marine waits on the beach during
Da Nang landing, August 3, 1965.











The first lottery drawing for the Vietnam War was held in Washington D.C. on December 1st, 1969. Approximately 850,000 men were drafted.

Freedom Trash Can at feminist rally outside Miss America Pageant, 1969.

Draft Card Burning, 1969.











“In taking this picture, I had destroyed his [the South Vietnamese general’s] life.  For General Loan had become a man condemned both in his country and in America because he had killed an enemy in war.  People do this all the time in war, but rarely is a photographer there to record the act.” - Eddie Adams

Eddie Adams, General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing Viet Cong prisoner Nguyen Van Lém, Saigon, 1968.











Napalm Strike

Huynh Cong (Nick) Ut, Children Fleeing a Napalm Strike, 1972.











Nick Ut and Phan Ti Kim Phuc meet Queen Elizabeth II,  2000.


Kim Phuc's Brief But Spectacular Take on Pain and Forgiveness











Kent State

John Paul Filo, 14-year-old Mary Ann Vecchio kneels over the dead body of Jeffrey Miller, who was shot by the Ohio National Guard during the Kent State shootings, 1970.

On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard killed students, Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Knox Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer during an anti-war protest at Kent State University.


"Kent State and the War That Never Ended"


Kent State student Alan Canfora speaks about the shooting of his friend, Jeffrey Milller











Historic Context
1959 - 1975
Official U.S. involvement in "Vietnam Conflict"
President Kennedy assassinated
Watergate scandal
President Nixon resigns
"Gay Related Immune Deficiency"
MTV founded
1981 - 1989
The "Reagan era"
End of the Cold War
GRID renamed AIDS
Chernobyl nuclear accident
"Black Monday" stock market crash leads to world-wide recession
Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS
Student protestors massacred in China's Tieananmen Square











Roland "Barthes infamously questioned the very possibility of originality and authenticity in his 1967 manifesto, "The Death of the Author," in which he stated that any text (or image), rather than emitting a fixed meaning from a singular voice, was but a tissue of quotations that were themselves references to yet other texts, and so on....The famous last line of Barthes' essay, that 'the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author,' was a call to arms for the loosely knit group of artists working in photography, film, video, and performance that would become known as the 'Pictures' Generation.'" - Douglas Eklund
Louise Lawler, Eames and Brillo, c. 1984.











Postmodernism = the period following modernism. Postmodernism is often seen as a rejection of Modernist notions such as the superiority of subjective expression of unique intellects, high culture versus kitsch and abstraction versus figuration.

Belief that no single truth exists
Sense that everything that can be done, has been done
Embrace diversity and questioning
Promotes parody, irony and playfulness
Jouissance = enjoyment
David Hockney, My Mother Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, 1982.










Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #1, 1977.
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #6, 1977.











Laura Mulvey's Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema 1973

Male gaze = a fundamental concept to Feminist theory which relates to the way men look at women, how women look at themselves and other women, and the sociological effects of this method of looking. Some feminists posit that since it is almost always the female who is being gazed upon by the male, the man exhibits power over the woman.
  • Hollywood cinema places the viewer in the masculine position
  • The viewer identifies with the protagonist who tends to be male
  • The woman is the object of desire - something to be looked at
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #34, 1979.











Leave It to Beaver, 1957 - 1963
The Donna Reed Show, 1958 - 1966
Gidget, 1959
Psycho, 1960











Untitled 14

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #14, 1978.
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #15, 1978.











The Doll

Hans Bellmer, The Doll, c. 1934.
Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, c. 1929.