Summary Of Andre Bazin's The Ontology Of The Photographic Image

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In Andre Bazin’s essay, “The Ontology of The Photographic Image”, he argues that one of the defining characteristics and inherent motivations in the production of art and artifacts, be it the mummification of Pharaohs, portraits of Kings and Emperors, is the ‘preservation of life by a representation of life’ (Bazin 238). He elaborates that at the heart of the plastic arts, such as painting and sculpture, is a need to make immortal the mortal and to turn the image of our flesh into clay, steel and paint. Bazin's essay touches on our need and motives to transform ourselves and preserve our being beyond its physical existence. He focuses on how photography is the purest form of capturing reality and how the arrival of cinema challenges itself with preserving life as it is or was, without the alteration and manipulation from editing. Points of Interest Although most of Bazin’s essay is very interesting to read, there are a few points that I felt stand out within the essay. Bazin explains that painting, in its attempt in the production of realism, encountered a problem in combining both the representation of the spiritual reality or the emotionally reality with the representation of the physical reality. Bazin notes that painting can successfully represent the emotionally reality, but that the reproduction of the physical reality will always lean towards and illusion. This illusion that Bazin references throughout his essay, I believe, is alluding to the inability to truly

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