Digital realities & virtual ideals: Portraiture, idealism and the clash of subjectivities in the post-digital era
AbstractAll portraits play host to a number of antithetical tensions, such as ‘private’ and ‘public’, ‘real’ and ‘ideal’, without which they would be reduced to a type of unassuming identification of subjects. Whereas in premodern times the artist was subject to the demands of the commissioner, after modernism the representational desires of the sitter began to clash with the creative intentions of the artist. Prior to the introduction of digital formats, this clash of subjectivities manifests itself in photography during the production of the work, the shooting of a portrait. Digital photography and post-production editing have expanded the methods for idealising external appearance; a desire stimulated by the recent technological acceleration of production and circulation of more ‘manipulated’ portraits than ever. In what ways, therefore, does the introduction of digital post-production editing and composite images affect this double-clash in portraiture, between the real and ideal, and the desires of the sitter against the intentions of the artist? Moreover, how does the evolution of self-portraiture in the ‘selfie’ affect the epistemological character of the genre? As such, is conceptual and aesthetic subservience a matter of technological possibility or creative determination?
CitationAltintzoglou, E. (2019) Digital Realities and Virtual Ideals: Portraiture, Idealism and the Clash of Subjectivities in the Post-Digital Era, Photography and Culture, 12:1, 69-79, DOI: 10.1080/17514517.2019.1565290
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalPhotography and Culture
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor and Francis in Photography and Culture on 26/02/2019, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/17514517.2019.1565290 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
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