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Wounded Knee Analysis

Decent Essays
Elliot Erwitt’s piece titled Wounded Knee, South Dakota (Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1969) is a photograph of a traditional church standing alone atop a small hill. The seemingly ordinary black and white picture stands out amongst the surrounding pieces due to the fact that a building is the focal point. The piece illustrates a presence of a higher power due to which most of the components are pointed toward the church. Not only that, but there is also a metaphorical representation of heaven and hell by cause of coloration and even placement of specific articles in the piece. The photograph enveloped me into a brief essence of sanctity in behalf of the articles surrounding the church. The placement of everything in the picture seemed so perfect that I believed it had to have been artificial. The clouds draw the eye toward the tip of the spire where a cross sits, the building is standing on the highest elevation of earth—as if to reach the heavens, and all the more, the two largest…show more content…
The upper portion of the piece, from the bottom of the church and up, is distinctively lighter than the rest. Heaven is associated with light and a higher power, being what the upper half conveys. With the Catholic church residing in the top half, being a place of worship to God, it allows one to conclude there being a depiction of heaven. The lower half of the piece, from the ground and below, is of a darker nature. Not only that, but the dry, patchy grass resembling death adds to the overall theme of the lower portion favoring hell. Heaven is claimed to be above the clouds and hell is said to be below the earth such as the same placement in the photograph. The exposure is ultimately embodying as a descriptor of the two “locations of afterlife.” In other words, it appears that just the place of worship is displaying religion, but ultimately the whole shot is exhibiting
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