The Photograph and the Dolmen: the dialectics of visualization (NIRSA) Working Paper Series. No. 75.


Slater, Eamonn (2013) The Photograph and the Dolmen: the dialectics of visualization (NIRSA) Working Paper Series. No. 75. Working Paper. NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This essay provides a dialectical analysis of how we attempt to visualize antiquity within modern suburbia. Beginning with an unfolding of the physical process of the photographic reproduction I want to suggest that this is the necessary material condition for the emergence of the process of visualization, in which the social process of interpretation now becomes the dominant moment. And by metabolizing these two processes a one-sided appropriation of an indefinite ‘diversity of the world’ is obtained, but this is necessary in order to separate an authentic historical entity from the blandness of suburbia and its constant tendency to aestheticize everything. Therefore, the photograph allows the 'captured' countenance of the historical object to be recontextualized away from its real concrete context to a textual form. Within, the visualization process takes on an abstract social in the narrative process and with regard to the reproduced image of the Ballybrack dolmen its takes on the specific social form of an archaeological cult form, which has become the particular exhibition form of the dolmen in the concrete setting of south Dublin suburbia. It is accordingly maintained by the state as it attempts to preserve and conserve it against some of the everyday activities of modern suburban living. Thus the dolmen is presented so that it can be photographed and this “photographability” is determined by the archaeological exhibition value.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Keywords: Photograph; the Dolmen; dialectics of visualization;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
Item ID: 5426
Depositing User: Dr. Eamonn Slater
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2014 15:36
Publisher: NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis
URI:

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