Analysis Of What Is Cinema By André Bazin

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What distinguishes the power of a click versus the power of a stroke? In “What is Cinema” by André Bazin, Bazin examines the role of photography in this history of art. With the introduction of photography, painting and illustration were regarded as inferior art forms to replicate the world. Bazin argues that there is no way for a handmade visual art to produce the same realistic encounter as a photograph (8). In addition, Bazin elaborated on the ability of photographs to “transfer(s) reality from the object to its reproduction”, which is why photographs were regarded unconsciously as exact replications of the world (8). However, Irregular Desert by Vija Clemins and Untitled #153 by Cindy Shermans challenges Bazin position by producing aesthetic …show more content…
Bazin praise of the unmatched realistic capabilities photography is not unwarranted, given the leaps photography made, however, Bazin undermines the ingenuity that goes into hand crafted images. Although, it may take more time and effort to replicate an object or scene with concrete exactness by hand, Clemins proved that it was possible with graphite and acrylic gesso. By using the consistency of the acrylic gesso and the shades of the graphite, Clemins designed a textured image that can be easily be perceived as a black and white photo because of the depth, perspective, and lighting. This illustration defied the limits that Bazin felt handcrafted art would never surpass. The resemblance between Clemins’s work and a photograph is uncanny, which is why it would be initially perceived as an “actual” scene. Bazin articulates the ability of a photograph to be believed without reserve (8). This ability stems from the perception of realism produced by photography. Despite the fact this maybe true, Bazin fails to highlight the cases when artistic creations do exactly replicate the illusion of reality. Photorealistic images, like Irregular Desert, which is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as “realism in painting characterized by extremely meticulous depiction of detail”, it has made it difficult to decipher a photograph from a photo realistic-illustration. Conversely, a photograph can be altered in such a way that it is not initially perceived to be an exact replication. For example, Shermans’s use of a chromogenic photo print for the photograph Untitled #153 distorts image in a way that makes it appear artificial. Although, the figure may resemble a mannequin with their

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