Apropos of Nothing: Musings on ‘Art’ etc.

{ R. Nandakumar is an art historian and culture critic. He has taught art history and aesthetics in various Fine Arts colleges and has been Professor and Head of the Department of Visual Arts in Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. Formerly a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, he has currently been a Senior Nehru Fellow at Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi.

As an art historian though visual arts is his home discipline, cultural musicology is another major area of his research interest. His works in both have appeared in important academic journals and they address areas of intercultural concern from the perspective of the sociology of culture. }




Let me quote at some length an observation I made fifteen years ago in general terms about a particular aspect of the Kerala art scene of the early 1990s:

Now the artist-aspirant even from a place like Kerala is privileged enough to represent more the social aspirations of his own class in its growing upward mobility. No longer a world-weary outsider or outcast from his own class struggling against social stigma and with the qualms of declassing, he readily falls in with the values that are predicated on the brute efficiency of upward mobility of his class. With increased cultural contacts (enough to make him ‘international’), an expanding nexus of promotional agencies, art organisations and the art market, greater inflow of money into the gallery system, easier outlets for travels and exhibitions abroad and so on, the artist-aspirant finds the process fairly smooth and highly rewarding. All these have gone into the making of different notions of professionalism which are transformed by the machinations of culture bureaucracy and the mechanics of operation of the media bandwagon into trendy aesthetic testimony. Aspects of socialisation, recruitment and enculturation of the career in art, in sociological terms, now depend largely on how well the artist-aspirant can adapt himself to the cosmetic sensationalism that thrives in an environment of rarefied high culture, of what the media bandwagon would have it as the ‘intellectual’ order of the day. While being part of the larger environment of consciousness industry and thought machines, his sub-cultural affiliations with marginal forms of dissent should secure his déclassé non-identity a high-visibility stardom (may be for fifteen minutes, a la Andy Warhol) in terms of the media, the world of fashions, the professions and the information systems, all of which together having made a dogma of the jargon of dissent. At the same time, what is expected of him is a kind of streamlined efficiency in the manipulation of the operational presets offered by the art establishment and the culture bureaucracy and a slick resourcefulness that can make the most of anything sub-cultural and marginal to add to his artistic persona. In such a situation the kind of spiritual dimension we used to attach to the subjective preoccupation with the meaning of experience, held together by an overall system of values, yet riddled with inner conflicts and contradictions, which is eventually what all art is about (or so we thought), becomes a casualty.

It is nothing short of a sea change that has come about during the intervening period and for obvious reasons. Put simply and bluntly, it is the new world order of neoliberal dispensation with its cultural baggage of globality. The last heroic gestures of the avant-garde in the modernist trail had a whimpering end by then. The new economic policies of outreach and outsource cutting across the centre/periphery relations, combined with the phenomenal upswing in the art market and the all-pervasive influence of the electronic and digital media on art production and distribution, have all gone to redefine practically all aspects of the production and reception of art. High-visibility mega art events like the international biennials which have been well in place for quite long, suddenly start acquiring a new format and different dimensions; they also proliferated, probably in tandem with the policy advocacy of the new cultural economy and the hegemonic political agency and its neoliberal cultural agenda. A new biennial model with its global-tourism mandate, specific institutional tie-ups for sponsorship, urban regeneration schemes and wealth-creation had become the norm and through edition after edition its cultural currency swept across geopolitical differences.

The growing international networking of national markets and societies, the liberalization and the politics of deregulation, the technological advances in transport and communication created the prerequisites for a global export of the “biennial” model and an increasing exchange of art. With biennials rapidly spawning in Asia, Africa, South America and Australia, more and more biennial models are emerging but only very few are modelled on the original Italian one. Instead of diplomatic invitations, curators and teams of curators select the artists.

– Sabine B. Vogel, 2010

It is hardly acknowledged that its cultural currency as a model is what validates its being virtually transplanted from a generalized ‘global’ context to the ‘local’ and that its trans-national dimension is wedded to the cultural policy that informs the neoliberal order of the day. In fact the whole thing can be seen to have its origin in certain policy decisions taken by the Thatcherite England of the late 1980s as a EU country, that has gone on to become a guiding principle for the economic management of any country anywhere under the banner of neoliberalism. If by hosting a biennial the benefactors and policy makers of a local government together with the art entrepreneurs think that the local art scene can be latched onto the global market, it can only be seen with guarded optimism. It is because biennials have now acquired a format which when superimposed on a local situation by virtue of its putative ‘global’ authority, what is at stake are the meaning and experience of local history and its nuances. The disturbing question remains as to how far it can help break the cultural isolation of a region or locality.

That said it should be acknowledged that the art projected in the biennials is informed by a particular historical rupture with the art of modernity which, in spite of its radical breaks, “manifests the hegemony of a geopolitical region and thus establishes political boundaries in culture as well. Global art, by contrast negates, ignores and destabilizes boundaries drawn by the state …” (Vogel, ibid) There is in principle a focus on the local life, history and culture, going by the paradigm of the local/global, which is expressed through on-site works that are commissioned around themes bearing on those aspects. However, the question remains as to how far these visiting artists can either identify the broad themes or understand the intrinsic ebb and flow of the life-world of the host country/society.

The city-to-city cultural exchange paradigm in contemporary art is a familiar phenomenon. It is a particular staple within the international biennial exhibition system by which urban landscapes are transformed for better or worse through site-specific artworks seeking to activate transnational connections of over-determined yet changing city cultures across the globe.

– Alice Ming Wai Jim, 2014

This invariably reminds us of a similar and closely allied phenomenon that is gaining ground apace, again as a fallout of the neoliberal political economy with the professed ideal of urban reorganization or regeneration. I mean here what has come to be known as creative industries, creative class, creative economy and finally the creative city. The following observation is prompted by a news carried in The Hindu a few days ago titled “ ‘Creative capital’ to come up in city” which mentions about how Thiruvananthapuram is going to be taken up by a Bangalore-based art institute and developed into a centre for new media and digital art.

While the concept of “creative cities” first emerged in the 1980s, it gained real momentum and popularity in the 2000s in part due to Richard Florida’s writings, and has since become a global movement. Creative cities are understood as urban areas where creativity, knowledge and innovation flourish; aided by the presence of a critical mass of diverse peoples who, through sharing and interaction, spark creativity.

– Hospers and Pen, 2008

Over the past two decades, the concept of “creative industries” has gained ground and dominated academic and policy discourse in many areas related to what earlier were denoted by “cultural industries” which in turn has superseded the classic concept of twentieth century critical theory associated with the Frankfurt School, “culture industry”. Propounded by Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer in 1944, it was a concept with a terminological precision oriented in a field of academic research before it lent itself to be a term of discourse of popular culture. In 1997 the United Kingdom’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) coined the term “creative industries” as a classifier for one of its main policy sectors, replacing the previously used notion of “cultural industries” which was the prevalent stand-in for the original Adorno concept. That heralded the age of the creative industries which clearly took a commercial orientation by prioritizing creativity and creative industries that can generate intellectual property for economic profit, thereby defining it to include the new segment of entertainment and leisure business. The close affinity and unstated affiliation of the academia with the administrative machinery and cultural bureaucracy is best seen here when the policy shift from “cultural industries” to “creative industries” was soon followed up by a corresponding discursive shift in academic writings: from “cultural economy” to “creative economy”, from “cultural clusters” to “creative clusters”, from “cultural worker” to “creative worker” and from “cultural economy” to “creative economy”. And so was it that the glorious era of creative cities was bequeathed to us by the British government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sports in terms of the new-fangled idea that rendered redundant the criticality of a historic concept.

The 1990s and 2000s witnessed heightened interest in the creative industries as an urban regeneration strategy, with creativity more purposefully integrated into economic and social policies, and the intensified commodification of artistic and creative activity. The creative industries were strongly promoted for their benefits to the economy, as supported by growing revenue and employment figures in the case of the UK. Given their apparent success, UK policy makers were able to promote the idea of the creative industries to other nations. Across Asia Pacific, the creative industries began to feature in national and city policy agendas, as evident in places such as Singapore, China, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India and the Philippines.

– Lily Kong, 2014

In fact, there are very pertinent apprehensions being raised about the “creativity” strategies. The critics of these strategies point out that they contribute to the widening of the income gap and the emergence of a low-wage service underclass and contribute to dispossession through gentrification. It’ll do us good if only we heeded some of these discordant notes as well before Thiruvananthapuram goes global along the “creative” way.

Now that we’ve made an incidental mention above to academia, this much should be said, to wit. The word ‘research’ in its academic parlance and practice never made sense to the Malayali intellectual and generally it was with a bemused condescension that the word was used to refer to the respective activity. (I remember having been asked by the AIR Thiruvananthapuram to give a talk in their weekly evening slot for English talk in the eighties. Not only did they decide the subject but then went as far as to fix a snappy title for it: “The Disposable Research Paper” which I didn’t accept.) But now the word ‘research’ is used in a range of contexts which has absolutely nothing to do with the practice that was once known by the term. For one, the discourse-generating compulsions, primarily of humanities disciplines, to keep abreast and diversify the academic streams have pushed those ‘boutique disciplines’ to the limit and a particular kind of academic brinkmanship that knows how to make one’s PhD pay, has taken the floor. This is of course, at the cost of credibility of research, to be worth its name. However, there is another more important side to the matter of research as it is in practice now. The various fund-seeking outfits and fund-granting bodies function on a tacit mutual understanding where ‘research’ is a vogue word that arrogates to itself an academic authority of sorts by faking its authentic counterpart. Most of these as it invariably happens, are cross-cultural concoctions without conceptual framework or theoretical perspective, in spite of a smattering of ethnographic or other data thrown in for good measure and pass for research. Added to this is the outsourcing of user-generated data through content farming available online in downloadable formats. In fact, many of these sponsored/funded research projects and their mission statements end up being absorbed into some academic circles that share an interface with the governmental machinery and cultural bureaucracy. And their inputs inevitably feed into academic discourse.

[Similarly] the academy has used critical theory, in particular French post-structuralism, gender theory and queer theory, as a way of welcoming new students and diversifying humanities departments. While an important political advance, such theory has become its own industry, merely trading an old canon for a new one, and retaining the same hierarchies and worshipful groupthink. There is little subversion to putting Judith Butler or Slavoj Zizek on a T-shirt, or to liking them on Facebook. [… ] In North America, critical theory imported from Europe, mainly from France, became trendy in the 1980s and effectively colonized universities in the 1990s, allowing graduates of various humanities departments to specialize, and thus to brand themselves and gain professional toeholds in highly specific, unprecedented ways. Current academic specialists in such subjects as ‘ecocriticism’ and ‘homosociality’ were certainly unheard of before this period. […] New, genial- and sexy-sounding departments and programs emerged, such as urban studies, cultural studies and gender studies. Detractors called them ‘boutique programs’.

– David Balzer, 2014

Coming to the interface between ‘research’ and ‘creative worker’, see this online subscription campaign by a very high-profile funding agency:

5 Reasons to Support India Foundation for the Arts (IFA)
Reason # 3: Live with Passion

Samrat Som, the Creative Director of a leading apparel brand,
has always been passionate about art and design.

In this video, made by filmmaker Sumantra Ghosal, he talks about the need for the corporate world to look beyond immediate return-on-investment when creating marketing strategies and how IFA, through the arts and culture, helps him add value to long term brand building.

That’s why Samrat is a Friend of IFA.

Join him and others like him as they recognise
the necessity of the arts in the corporate world.

IFA, 2013

Now, where on earth is art in this scheme of things?

Where, then, should we expect to find the artist in our society? Where he was before, where the myths are made, and there, in fact, he is, in the advertising agencies, in the dream factories of the consumer society.

– Toni Del Renzio, 1980

The high-spirited 2013 mission statement quoted above reads well with the sombre introspection of the pre-liberalisation era, almost one to one.

So, there we are. Let me conclude with what I have always felt about this dream factory that on the face of it may look at one remove from our immediate context but which from what we have seen is entirely paradigmatic of the whole situation. I mean here the commercial ads and spots and their audio as well as video aspects. We have learned to give allowance to the various tall claims and habituated ourselves to the level of untruth and falseness that they routinely take recourse to as a matter of right. We take it easy that the spectator/listener is being taken for a ride or at any rate, taken too much for granted. Nobody is concerned about the fact that it makes a mockery of normal human credibility. As we willingly suspend our disbelief about most of the canards so professedly aired, couched in the unabashedly outlandish melodrama staged in flagrant settings, we take it for granted as the gilded cameos of a wishful irreality that are embroidered onto the texture of desire, on the ground that it is all in the game, being the “art of persuasion”.

I don’t mean to take exception to the quantum of untruth being dished out in any kind of moralistic outrage. What I mean is that all the high-flown melodramatic flourish and flamboyance and the carnivalesque display of consumable affluence is in one sense a celebration of flippancy and of ostentatious possession and in the process, a glossing over of the evident ground reality as something incidental, something to be wished away. It does so by levelling out the difference between the spectator/consumer and the fictional nonentity of the presenter/model by rendering alterity as the masquerading of a faked self. If this frolicsome celebration of flippancy is seen as a matter of style in the “art of persuasion”, so does it inform its content as expressing a particular view of the world which is perfectly in tandem with the global neoliberal dispensation. What is called lifestyle porn. The visual aspect of these ads is matched by a corresponding aural dimension. Here, I would say pace Amanda Weidman (who has written about the neoliberal quality of voice production in a popular south Indian female playback singer), that the tone, tenor and timbre of a plumy voice (mostly female) apart from the pitch which is particularly (and unnecessarily) high combined with an affected intonation and frivolous lilt, is expressive of an attitude well in keeping with the spirit of neoliberalism. We know that its idyllic euphoria and boisterous gleefulness are matched by a vocal quality that has a conspicuous false ring and that its upbeat and jaunty gusto can barely conceal an affected and smug self-exultation. All this expresses a message that is explicitly at one remove from anything that we know of in reality. The language is explicitly out of sorts with the diction laced with a smattering of English which a couple of decades earlier would have been considered as a vainglorious self-indulgence of the postcolonial mindset that flaunts it as a cultural marker, but which now has become perfectly natural as is only in tandem with the global dispensation. This is the case as much with the language as with the manner of utterance which feigns a hesitant and condescending familiarity with the regional language. It is neither natural nor synthetic but is virtual in the sense that it obviates the need for an original, to extend the suggestion of Nicholas Mirzoeff.   The voice is digitally processed to create the synthetic vocal texture that obviates the need for something as source that can be authenticated as original, so to say. Thus, for example, when in a certain ad Amitabh Bacchan speaks in Malayalam, it is obviously mimicked and dubbed by some so-called mimicry artists who Kerala has aplenty. Even as we know that his famed husky and plumy voice is being faked, of course convincingly and impressively, the apparent improbability is sort of waived or discounted. All questions of improbability are leavened by the rationale of a world where the equation between the subsidised dreams on offer and the diminishing returns of reality is the primary term of communication of a far greater improbability. The production of these pompous canards forms a capital-intensive labour sector that is typically of the so-called “creative economy” discussed above, in the neoliberal narratives that thrives on deskilled labour aided by a streamlined efficiency in handling the presets of the digital media and yet is crucial to the revenue-generating functions of the electronic new media at the service of corporate capital.

There are a few things that make this case paradigmatic of the neoliberal global situation. First is how its political economy related to a local/regional marketing situation is latched on to the global economy of corporate capital and free market, using a kind of ‘international’ language in its product promotion and sales strategy, driving at the purchasing power of a local community in a different economic situation. Second, the sham level of ‘creativity’ that informs it is obviously because of the way the ‘theme’ has been ‘conceptualised’, ‘researched’ and ‘executed’ by its ‘Creative Director’ (who belongs to the “creative class” of service delivery systems under the new taxonomy of the “creative industries” in lieu of the earlier cultural industry) who has been pre-eminently de-skilled (the kind of de-skilling that WJT Mitchell has noted as having already happened in the case of workers under industrial capitalism) in all areas of traditional visual articulation but has enough skill in software manipulation that is attested by a profile portfolio.

Disclaimer: Photographs and text published in this post is copyrighted property of the author. Prior permission is required from the author for republishing and reprinting. For more information, contact Ekalokam Trust for Photography at admin@etpindia.org


Paradigms of Perception: Between the Visual and the Optic

{ R Nandakumar is an art historian and culture critic. He has taught art history and aesthetics in various Fine Arts colleges and has been Professor and Head of the Department of Visual Arts in Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. Formerly a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, he has currently been a Senior Nehru Fellow at Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi.

As an art historian though visual arts is his home discipline, cultural musicology is another major area of his research interest. His works in both have appeared in important academic journals and they address areas of intercultural concern from the perspective of the sociology of culture. }

Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan
Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan

Generally speaking, photography has always found itself uncomfortably placed in the scheme of things of the modernist aesthetic agenda. The aesthetic assumptions and value preferences that fed into a vindication of abstraction in art-historical discourse were mostly in agreement with the prejudices surrounding the debate over the artistic status of photography. This in turn had its terms of reference in the perceived dichotomy between art versus fact, or between representation versus indexicality. It is not without reason that the brand of photography that could strike any kind of a respectable alliance with the fine art traditions of Indian modernism is called ‘art photography’. Thus the ‘art’ in such art photography is achieved in terms of an attempt to mimic painterly modes through a deliberate denaturing of all the mechanistic attributes intrinsic to the medium which are supposedly at variance with art. Soft focus and blurriness, perspectival distortions and angled views, contrast lighting, deep shadows and staged compositions and above all, a pictorialism of the pathetic fallacy kind in which sentimentalised nature motifs are presented – these are still the mainstay of art photography in India.

But photography has outlived this situation in practice by finding new uses, functions and the norms of a new sensibility that it set itself which, as it stands, had marked a break with the aesthetic of pictorialism.  The contra-aesthetic connotations inherent to the photographic medium like its anti-style, authorial absence, its mass reproducibility and destruction of aura on the one hand and the fact of its ideological locus in the techno-industrial environment of capitalism and its nexus with the semiotic systems of advertisement, fashion and consumerism, on the other have all qualitatively different implications in the context of postmodernism. All these have provided the necessary terms of reference for a context of its practice that is in tandem with the conceptual premises of postmodernism, “not as an art-in-itself but an option within an inter-semiotic and inter-textual ‘arena.’”1 And this is crucial to an understanding of the signifying process of photography as a medium in the present world, wherever it is. As Douglas Crimp notes:

The centrality of photography within the current range of practices makes it crucial to a theoretical distinction between modernism and postmodernism . . .[but] it is clear that photography is too multiple, too useful to other discourses, ever to be wholly contained within traditional definitions of art. Photography will always exceed the institutions of art, always participate in non-art practices, always threaten the insularity of art’s discourse.2

Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan
Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan

As “the spheres of art and life, of emotion generated from within and emotion generated from without, or work and leisure, are increasingly indistinguishable”3 in the present-day urban life, so there is a space in the public sphere, in the quotidianness of which the aesthetic and the informational are co-identical at the level of message. By accepting one’s context as that to which culture, communication and creativity form one total perspective, a photographer who is critically self-aware of the aporias of photographic aesthetics and the historicity of its practice, would seek to critically engage this space through his work.

That, to my mind, is what Ramu Aravindan does as a photographer. Ramu’s photographic work has affinities with the tradition of the documentary style (a rather tenuous term) that is traced to Eugene Atget, the turn-of-the-century French photographer who was rediscovered by the Surrealists. The style acquired the cultural and artistic dimensions of social document and initiated a whole new aesthetic in the work of the celebrated American photographer of the thirties and forties, Walker Evans who was a major influence on a generation of distinguished photographers like Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander and Lewis Baltz and continues to inspire contemporary movements like New Topographics. Evans who was influenced by Baudelaire in spirit and Flaubert by method, brought to bear upon his images a profoundly moral concern and a measure of stylisation that made his style, as is often  said, “the archetypal classicism of the ordinary.”

Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan
Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan

As the choice of subject for any photographer comes as a point of departure for his convictions, so Ramu’s de-aestheticised images in black-and-white of the unprivileged, uneventful and unspectacular sidelights from the scenario of everydayness are informed by a moral conviction and human empathy. A conscious refusal to intervene in his pictures endows them with an aspect of an impersonal, dispassionate stare – the stare of a flaneur (a la Walter Benjamin).4 Even when his images are near-impersonal, as his Calgary pictures mostly are, with their bare, blank streets and open spaces that are totally unpeopled, they are not dehumanised. Instead, traces left by human activity or the left-over of events, like the track of car tyres or melted ice mark a silent sense of human presence with its discreetly off-frame suggestion. In all his pictures there is a conscious avoidance of the narrative-illustrative in terms of ironic juxtaposition of motif or tell-all details as thematic understatement of a literal content.

Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan
Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan

After having graduated from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Ramu went in for his post-graduation at the University of Calgary, Canada where he did his MFA with a photography major. There in Calgary, having been exposed to the works of several pioneers and the different styles (a contentious issue in photography) that put the medium to different uses and the many theoretical implications of the photographic aesthetics, Ramu was increasingly drawn towards the documentary style associated with Walker Evans and its may distinguished practitioners. He found that it has much in common with his own natural inclinations as a visual artist as communicator (more than as creator) and his own attitude as a traveller.

Ramu had shown a series of his Calgary pictures in the exhibition Desert City at Oxford Book Store-Gallery, Kolkata in 1997. One of the outposts for the early European explorers and now becoming something of a boomtown, Calgary has an air of newness about it. Ramu says that he was particularly fascinated by the clarity with which this look of the new was writ large on Calgary’s urban landscape: “I try to use background forms such as signboards, lamp posts, domesticated trees and the pale concrete footpaths to create a ground upon which the people advance. There is an implication of borderlines, particularly between nature and human constructs, in many of my images . . .”5 He had intended them to be seen as a sequence, but the arrangement of the line-up precludes any “juxtapositions that form unintended narrative meaning (as in a film montage that had gone wrong)”, or any repetitive logical order.

Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan
Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan

There is a characteristic sense of place – the look, the feel, the ambience of the place – that is particular to each locale. As it becomes an internalised topography of the mind, it configures in terms of some random details that define the spatial directiveness and bearings of the remembered landscape. More than as landmarks in a factual sense, they are the memory traces that act as orientation points for a mindscape expressive of subjectivity. Ramu’s images have a quality of evoking this sense of place through unexceptional details like a shrub, some fringe plants or a signboard that are endowed with a personal naturalism, having a descriptive tenor with semantic resonance.

Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan
Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan

Generally, Ramu’s images have about them a forthright and stark quality that is heightened by the uniform sharpness of focus and overall flat illumination. Here, the even clarity of the motif that leaves little unsaid is a function of the truth of surfaces that is captured with a conviction that makes these images, to borrow from Harold Rosenberg, the “patterns of unprivileged data into which the secrecy of Being is dissipated.”6 As this clarity gravitates into a certain opacity that comes to equal profundity, the motif sheds its familiarity to achieve a stylisation reminiscent of the “archetypal classicism of the ordinary” of Walker Evans. By avoiding tilted or angled views Ramu achieves a certain head-on, stark frontality of the motif as seen at eye level which also imparts an aspect of confronting it in an unrelenting stare. This frontality of his images is enhanced by its twin aspect of the even flatness of the picture plane. Even when there are steep perspective orthogonals, they do not dramatise space as by the play of light creating volumes of shadow.

Though Ramu spends considerable time trying to get his desired compositions, he feels that much of the thought about it appears rudimentary in hindsight. The various interrelations among the spatial appearance of objects, between object and the direction of its shadow, between textures and surfaces, all constitute a field of meaning that is distinctly antigraphic and at variance with the assumptions of pictorialism.

Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan
Photography (C) Ramu Aravindan

Even when a photograph looks unmediated, without human intervention in the realisation of its image and hence signifying authorial absence, the absence itself is a construction. It is a construction at the interface between factuality and artifice or between simulacrum and point of view; and it is not an empirically given precondition of perception. In many of Ramu’s images, as in the Calgary pictures, the rigorously composed optic array within the frame and the randomness which it suggests of the physical disarray outside the frame (both of which are bound by a causal symmetry) create a subtle dualism. Similar is the dualism between the apparently hands-off, all-at-onceness of his images and an artifice the transparency of which made it possible. Within these dualisms authorial absence is built into the signifying process as a paradox of the very transparency of the image-meaning nexus.

After distinguishing between the two spatial appearances of objects – the ‘natural’ one and that of the object permeated by cognition – Siegfried Kracauer notes:

By sacrificing the former for the sake of the latter the artwork also negates the likeness achieved by photography. This likeness refers to the look of the object, which does not immediately divulge how it reveals itself to cognition; the artwork, however, conveys nothing but the transparency of the object.7

This is also why the primal opacity of the object-in-itself as an aspect of reality perception is something peculiar to the optic ‘unconscious’8 that constitutes the domain of photographic realism. Photography retrieves this opacity of truth that is lost to consciousness – as truth before fact.


Peter Wollen, “Photography and Aesthetics,” Readings and Writings: Semiotic Counter- Strategies, Verso, 1982, p. 188

Douglas Crimp, quoted in Jessica Evans, “Victor Burgin’s Polysemic Dreamcoat,” Art has no History! The Making and Unmarking of Modern Art. ed.  John Roberts, Verso, 1994, p. 212

E.J. Hobsawm, The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914 1991, Michel Joseph, 1994, p. 521

Walter Benjamin, “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century” and “The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire,” Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, Verso, 1983

Ramu Aravindan, Introductory Text to Calcutta Exhibition, Calcutta. 1997.

Harold Rosenberg, “Portraits: A Meditation on Likeness,” Portraits: Richard Avedon, Thames and Hudson, 1976

Siegfried Kracauer. “Photography” (1927), Critical Enquiry, vol. 19, no. 3, 1993, p. 427

Walter Benjamin, “Walter Benjamin’s Short History of Photography,” 1931, Tran. Phil Patton, Art Forum, New York, February 1977, p. 47

(First published in Art India, vol. 5, no. 1, 2000)

Disclaimer: Photographs and text published in this post is the copyrighted property of the author. Prior permission is required from the author for republishing and reprinting. For more information, contact Ekalokam Trust for Photography at admin@etpindia.org


R Nandakumar on Photography – between reproduction and representation

Photography (C) TS Sathyan / Image taken from internet

{ R. Nandakumar is an art historian and culture critic. He has taught art history and aesthetics in various Fine Arts colleges and has been Professor and Head of the Department of Visual Arts in Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. Formerly a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, he has currently been a Senior Nehru Fellow at Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi.

As an art historian though visual arts is his home discipline, cultural musicology is another major area of his research interest. His works in both have appeared in important academic journals and they address areas of intercultural concern from the perspective of the sociology of culture. }

Umrao Sher-gil
Photography (C) Umrao Sher-gil / image taken from internet

The art enthusiast who is confirmed in “his ability to adopt the posture socially designated as specifically aesthetic” (Pierre Bourdieu’s words), often feels let down in his self-assured aesthetic gaze while watching a photograph, whether documentary or the so-called art mounted on the walls of a gallery. While studying the aesthetic attitude of various classes of people to the photographic image, Bourdieu found that the value attributed to the photographic image as an aesthetic object corresponded to the value attributed to the thing of which it is a photograph. That is to say, people found many of “the objects unsuitable for being transfigured by the act of artistic promotion performed by photography.” What exactly is the nature of this artistic promotion performed by photography that transfigures objects? Or, is there any, for that matter? A photograph of foot prints on the sands is just that – the sign of somebody having passed through the sandy stretch before the camera – until a certain metaphorical intent as articulated in the field of discourse of the aesthetic is appropriated by the visual referential of the image which would have us take it for “the foot prints on the sands of Time.” For many, the photographic image is too real, too mundane and too immediate to evoke the psychic distance called for in the traditional aesthetic gaze that would assign it to the culture-neutral domain of rarefied aesthetic. All the more so when the content of the image would have implications of a non-art kind that cannot be wished away under the rubric of the aesthetic. I mean, political implications. Even those aesthetes would be increasingly aware of the difficulty in distinguishing between the aesthetic and the informative at the level of message as the affinity that art has with information and communication is ever more becoming a matter of course in any contemporary experience of the environment that is all but an aestheticised simulation of a spectacle. It is the simulacrum of such an environment that configured through the representations of photographic imagizing, but still in the offing in the fifties of the last century, that Richard Hamilton alludes to when he said:

In the fifties we became more aware of the possibility of seeing the whole world, at once, through the great visual matrix that surrounds us, a synthetic ‘instant’ view. Cinema, television, magazines, newspapers flood the artist with a total landscape and this new visual ambience was photographic, reportage rather than art photography in the main.1

What is to be noted is that photography has already established its coexistence with the systems of information and communication, making good its own susceptibility to be manipulated by words – by way of captions and accompanying text. In fact, Walter Benjamin seems to have been aware of what the caption can do to a photograph when he asked whether the captions would not become the essential component of pictures.2

Photography (C) Raja Deen Dayal / image taken from internet
Photography (C) Raja Deen Dayal / image taken from internet

That is one side of the story. In spite of such common attitudes, however, what is amazing is the amount of theorizing and philosophizing that is going on about photography which only shows how the academic enterprise is still at a loss to come to terms with the aesthetic rationale of photography even as it has outlived in practice the situation in which theory still tends to circumscribe it. The two issues that figure time and again in the ‘great photography debate’ running the whole course of the history of the medium and getting into the conceptualizations of early film theorists like Andre Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, are centred around the notions of the authenticity of the photographic image and its ontological status. (In fact, Rudolf Arnheim titles one of his essays of 1993: “The Two Authenticities of the Photographic Media”3). All through this century-old polemic the unstated reference points are those drawn from the system of binaries of mind/machine, or art/fact, or representation/indexicality that keep changing only their terminological garb according to whatever is the current intellectual vogue. A look at some of the leading Anglo-American academic journals of art-theory and aesthetics over the last couple of decades will show how a speculative and hypothetical method of theorizing combining empirical reasoning and argumentative logic is pressed into service to score a point and make a case in defence of photography. The logically clever resourcefulness of those arguments that apparently have some claims to be formulating their views along the lines of the super-genre of theory veers between an apology for and a defence of photography for not being art: “Representation, all right. But reproduction, all the same!” Here is an instance of theory becoming redundant and out of step with the context of practice of what it theorizes as embodied in the new experience of the medium. Only very few of them show a different conceptual orientation informed at the same time by a new sensibility that can renegotiate the older aesthetic concepts in the light of the new experience of the medium.

Such discussions are quite often centred on the construction versus transcription paradigm where each term is defined along premises that would enable it to be pitted against the other in a traditional system of binaries. But it is the latent dualism of the photographic image between construction and transcription that endows it with its peculiar aesthetic rationale, as it is rooted in its very visual mechanism. Because of its counterfactual dependence on the motif depicted it is a transcription and at the same time, by virtue of the manner in which it characterizes the motif subject to its given methods of depiction, it is a construction. Even when a photograph looks unmediated, without human intervention in the realization of its image, and hence signifying the absence of the author, the absence itself is a construction. This also causes a peculiar ambivalence in the relation of the viewer to a photograph – in the casual and undemanding identification of the viewer with it. In the Albertian perspectival system the fixed point of the viewer is a metaphor that is presupposed in the organizing principle of the painting that lends credence to the depiction of the pictorial space as closed, centred and contained within the frame. But the photograph, however more organized it is than normal vision in terms of the perspective orthogonal and provides more visual information than a perspectival painting, does not have an interior perspective that conforms to any purpose and in that sense affords only far less a grip on the depicted world, as Max Kozloff observes.4 That is to say, unlike in the case of an Albertian perspectival painting, the viewer does not find himself being addressed by a photograph and is not invited into its space. The characteristically unstable relations among the various elements of a photograph’s optic array that results from this, even when it is a ‘composed’ one, are suggestive of a state of flux, a continuum as exists outside and independent of the frame which it is only a segment of. The composed optic array within the frame and the randomness which it suggests of the physical disarray outside the frame are bound by a causal symmetry and yet are different, creating a subtle imbalance that is built into the optics of the photographic image. The fact that this is not an empirically given precondition of perception, in the sense in which it is characterized as a message without a code, but something we have learned to read through cultural conventions, is relevant for any understanding of the signifying process of the photographic image. This in fact accounts for what Irving Singer refers to as               the wonder that we all feel in the presence of realistic photography. He says: “What looks so much alike is nevertheless so different – not just different in some attribute, but also ontologically different.”5

Photography (C) Sunil Janah / image taken from internet
Photography (C) Sunil Janah / image taken from internet

In as much as the optical mechanism of the camera obscura could not do away with the perspective orthogonal, it can be said to have anticipated photography via the Albertian perspectival painting. It is only a happy coincidence that the pictorial conventions initiated by the European Renaissance were to have anticipated the aesthetic rationale of photography coming, as it did, four centuries later when those very conventions have ran their course and were on the retreat. The normative preconditions that those conventions set for certain perceptual modalities were found to be concurrent with the more empirical processes of image-making of photography which in a way helped put the real back into the gross matter of reality. That is, the gross matter of tangible reality that makes up the phenomenal world as engaged by the human perceptual apparatus and mediated by the human consciousness but at the same time, is independent of the perceiver as attested to by its empirical existence. This is a status that man-made image in its whole history of being either a projection of himself on to the external world or an appropriation of it by him, did not have so far. Images which as Arnheim says, in the course of our civilization we have come to use as tools of contemplation.

We have set them up as a world of their own, separate from the world they depict, so that they may have their own completeness and develop more freely their particular style. These virtues, however, are outweighed by the anxiety such a detachment arouses when the mind cannot afford it because its own hold on reality has loosened too much. Under such conditions, the foot-lights separating a world of make-believe from its counterpart and the frame which protects the picture from merging with its surroundings become a handicap.6 [emphasis added]

The square or rectangular inset of the frame that closes in on a segment of the visual field does not simply present that visual field but it represents that visual field by qualitatively modifying and characterising the spatial relations among objects by introducing new dimensions in the relations between the figure and the field, figure and the ground and, by eliminating the ambient peripheral vision, between the figure, the field and the frame. Here things are cut at half-length by the edges of the frame and they spill out not contained by it. In other words, they do not follow the inner logic of any organizing principle to form a coherent, stable inner order, however ‘composed’ the frames are. Nor does it enclose a closed, centred spatial field contained and held together by the frame as whatever is within it is only consistent with all that is beyond it. This particular relation of the frame to the ‘unframed’ view of the camera was not something unknown to the artists as, for example, the plein air painters and artists like Degas who got the better of it. In any case, the image that freed itself from the protective limits of the frame, thus enabling it to merge with its surroundings and ceasing to be a tool of contemplation, was closer in the experience it embodied to a contemporary reality perception.  

Photography (C) Kishore Parekh / image taken from internet
Photography (C) Kishore Parekh / image taken from internet

From the foregoing it is hoped that the aspects of the orthogonal, perspective, frame and so on are shown to have a distinct nonpainterly, anti-graphic orientation in photography and have a value of their own in photogenic imagizing. So far so good. That said, it may sound to be falling for the argument that these elements go into the making of a universal ‘language’ of photography, if language that be. Now, in the present day practice, as the way it has come about, the photographic idiom surely has more than a touch of the international about it, though. But this is in sharp contradistinction to the early practice of the medium, especially in many non-western cultures. An interesting case of photography when it arrived for the first time in India in the pre-industrial, pre-modern era is studied by Judith Mara Gutman who argues that “a Western role, function, and use of the camera” did not enter the world of Indian photographers. In denaturing the specific attributes of optical realism of the medium, especially in the use of space, their methods were more in line with the norms of Indian painterly traditions, she observes.

Indian photographers followed in the painter’s foot steps, often flattening a picture’s space, creating a field of interest with multiple pockets of interest, no one pocket any more important than another. Sometimes, they created two planes in a photograph, essentially negating a middle distance, thereby emulating a favourite pattern developed by Indian painters. At other times, three horizontal planes, as so often appeared throughout Indian painting, appeared in their photographs…Adapting, rather than adopting, the Westerner’s equipment, the Indian photographers used the camera to reflect and extend an Indian conception of reality…These images did without vanishing points, for instance, just as the great store of Indian paintings had. Several pockets of interest ranged across a picture plane in such a way that they seemed to expand the picture’s space and run out to the picture frame’s edge, or even beyond it.7[emphasis added]

What strikes us as different about those photographs is in fact in their very manner of being more or less artisanal in moorings, having had close affinities with the pre-industrial craft traditions of the country and not the product of any self-conscious hankering after style to vindicate their Indian ‘identity’. What is equally important is how such early practices gave way to a standardized formal procedure of an international idiom subject to the compulsions of the techno-industrial environment of photographic practice dictated by trans-national capital, finally making those early works look naïve and unsophisticated through our cultural unlearning. One is also reminded of an early Japanese film maker like Mizoguchi who had adapted the cinematographic idiom to be more in tune with the pictorial conventions and spatial organization of the traditional Japanese horizontal narrative scroll painting.

Photography (C) Raghu Rai / image taken from internet
Photography (C) Raghu Rai / image taken from internet

Richard Shiff argues that in the historical situation of photography in which it has come to appropriate all claims to reality, it does so by virtue of a character of what he calls catachresis. The propositions on which he argues the case are:

[…](1) at any moment in history the value of all representation depends on the existence of some representation that can be regarded as transparent, realistic, or natural; (2) during the modern era photography has provided a kind of fabricated image that can successfully masquerade as a natural one; (3) as such, photography plays the role of a proper (but not literal) term in opposition to painting’s figured term. A rhetorician would say that photography plays catachresis to painting’s metaphor…We can accept the photograph as “natural” by comparison with other kinds of images and see how deeply implicated in a system of arbitrary signs it is.8

According to Shiff, though photography is not itself unfigured, it renders all other forms of representation more figured than itself and in the process becomes the ‘proper’, that is, the acceptable norm of all image of the real. Photography achieves this, he argues, through phototropism – photography’s peculiar turn or manner of figuration – by subverting the sense of proper representation. “The photograph is neither proper nor figured, neither properly documentary nor properly art; the photograph is a catachresis.”9

Photography (C) S. Paul / image taken from internet
Photography (C) S. Paul / image taken from internet

This is the point of the paradoxical relation between factuality and artifice or, put differently, between simulacrum and point of view – a relation that is positioned between the optic and the visual as the paradigm of perception in photography. It is commonplace to say that the camera is only recording what there is for any one to see at the time. And what one sees will be informed by what one is looking for as much as by what one brings to bear on what is thus seen – whereby the notional subject becomes content and the content becomes form in the image of the representation (remembering the oft-heard saying to the opposite effect). Though unreflective, unfigured and unrepresentational (that is, not informed by representational thought, a la Roger Scruton10), the photographic image, in the way it materializes, involves a multiplicity of processes of selection and omission guided by conscious decisions and unconscious predilections of the person who handles the equipment. In other words, the apparently transcriptional nature of the image is itself the result of artifice. The subtle dualism between the all-at-onceness of the counterfactual dependence of the photograph on its object on the one hand, and an artifice the transparency of which made it possible, on the other, creates an unsettling ambivalence which is inherent to the aesthetic context of the media’s realism. The stronger the artifice, the stronger is the transparency and never the other way round. In his introductory essay to Richard Avedon’s portrait photographs, Harold Rosenberg notes: “The nineteenth century made the revolutionary discovery that artifice – or, if one prefers, metaphor – is inherent in things; in short, that there is a truth of surfaces…In the nineteenth century, the secrecy of Being is dissipated into patterns of unprivileged data.”11 That the genesis of photography coincided with such a notion of the truth of surfaces as a function of artifice, made the artifice of photographic realism less problematic. It is only that the causal and counterfactual identity between the thing-in-itself and the image as sign in relation to the content of the thing, of which it is the expression, was perfectly tenable with the cultural conventions of the nineteenth century life world.

Photography (C) GG Welling / Image taken from internet

However, the artifactual transparency of the photographic image has more to it than this. The imagized transparency of the photograph is, in fact, endowed with the primal opacity of the object-in-itself as engrained in the “optic unconscious”12 that is constitutive of the domain of photographic realism and the peculiar perceptual modality that it entails. This primal opacity of the object is the attribute of its materiality in the state of immanence in time, which it withholds from being engaged by the human consciousness at least momentarily. This takes us close to the observation of Siegfried Kracauer who after distinguishing between the two spatial appearances of objects – ‘the natural’ one and that of the object permeated by cognition – notes:

By sacrificing the former for the sake of the latter the artwork also negates the likeness achieved by photography. This likeness refers to the look of the object, which does not immediately divulge how it reveals itself to cognition; the artwork, however, conveys nothing but the transparency of the object.10 [emphasis added]

If the phrase “This likeness refers to…” in the sentence quoted is to be taken to mean not as the word ‘likeness’ alluding to, but rather as the aspect of likeness signifying – it makes an interesting proposition. In that sense, it is not that the aspect of likeness achieved by photography is to be equated with the look of the object or that it evokes the look of the object, but that it only signifies the look of the object. Which is to say that it is a representation (subject to the media-specific conventions of photogenic imagizing) of the idea of the object and not (the reproduction of) the object itself, however illusionistic a replication of the appearance of the object it is. This look of the object in the likeness of which the photograph imagizes it is the irrevocable icon of the object-in-itself in its unmediated state of being as it precedes human cognition in the interactive process of perception-consciousness, as what appears to be given to perception is itself a function of perception. Photography retrieves this fleeting opacity of the object that is lost to consciousness as a function of the truth of surfaces – but as truth that is lost in the transparency of fact.


Photography (C) Kulwant Roy / Image taken from internet
Photography (C) Kulwant Roy / Image taken from internet

Now, I come to the last part of my argument. Taking the cue from Kracauer and extending his argument, is it that the artwork (painting, for our purpose) that concerns itself with the transparency of the object has at its disposal only the fact that is a leftover of truth? Without getting into the painting versus photography wrangle, I would like to suggest the possibility that the very basic difference between the two is that of an aspect of the faculty of perception. In the natural binocular stereoscopic perception the perceiver is always placed within the field of perception – he sees the world as himself seen within it and sees himself as seeing the world in a primal subject/object relation, with the spatial and temporal reference points being himself as the perceiver. It is around such a sense of the self on which the spatio-temporal reference points of the act of perception converge that the endless multiplicity of fragmentary visual stimuli is organized and oriented into the dimensional and directional experience of an unbroken perceptual continuum (temporal) and an engulfing perceptual ambience (spatial). The experience of such a unified visual field is rendered possible only by a perceptual apparatus in which is engrained the experience of space as coinherent in and coincident with that of time, the unconsciously perceived reference points of which are integrated into the sense of the self. As Edmund Leach has once observed in passing: “…we manage to recognize things as things and events as events by refusing to recognize the spatial and temporal boundaries where one chunk of space-time merges into the next.” And he goes on to add immediately that this is what cultural conventions are all about.11 The welter of superimposed sensory stimuli that crowd in on our visual perception – which hypothetically would be a mass of disparate ‘snap shots’ – is integrated into the spatio-temporal matrix of our experiential world by this unconscious refusal to acknowledge them individually. It is against the latent background of the ego-centred vertical/horizontal axis that these disparate ‘snap shots’ are integrated through what in phenomenological terms is called the “etc. principle” to define the events and the existents in terms of their continuity in time and extension in space. The sense of the self is that which is realized by the vertically oriented viewing subject (related to the complex psycho-physical make up of evolutionary bipedality and the emergence of the brain/mind/self constellation) against the horizontal directiveness of the physical, terrestrial lifeworld which latter is internalized as the unconscious symbolic axis of all syntactical connectedness and associative linearity of cognitive processes. Painting articulates the dynamics of this subject-object relation in the act of perception which inevitably has to embody the dimension of time as duration in its visual ontology.

TS Sathyan
Photography (C) TS Sathyan / Image taken from internet

But how does painting achieve this? The mediated and reflective language of representation of painting, in the forbiddingly precise formulation of Leo Steinberg, is “the fashioning of graphic symbols to act as analogues for certain areas of visual experience which are transmuted and reduced to symbolic pattern.”12 Among these areas of visual experience that Steinberg mentions, which are more than that evoked by the object sighted, not the least important is the unconscious experience of the act of seeing (itself involving time) through the constant scanning of the visual field by the shifting of focus, turning of the eye and the head and the sensations of the ocular muscles in controlling the eye movement – all that ‘little sensations’ of Cezanne. The experiential context in which each painting is located involves the triadic relation between the perceiver, the perceived and the act of perceiving. To take one example, the isotopic homogeneity of pictorial space of a typical Renaissance painting that is defined by the simultaneity of momentary views accommodated within it (in relation to the spatial location of the viewer which it presupposes) is collateral with the continuity of linear time as a serial passage (in relation to the temporal present of the viewer) defined by the succession of momentary points along the durational aspect of time.

Now, coming to the photograph – in materializing its image the photograph takes the percept out of this event-existent correlation and divests it of the temporality of its being-in-itself. The monocular, enframed and projective space of the photograph is that in which the object existed in a particular chunk of space-time from where time has ebbed off. In the normal perceptual experience this chunk of space-time has its boundaries lost to consciousness in the continuity of the object’s existence in time and the extension of its existence in space that is basic to the perceptual experience of the object in space. This, I maintain, accounts for the often felt timelessness of the photographic image – the kind of deja` vu that one experiences before the prints of Eugene Atget that haunted the imagination of the Surrealists.

(*Published in Nandan: An annual on Art and Aesthetics, vol. 23, 2003, Department of History of Art, Santiniketan, Visvabharati University. An earlier version of the paper was presented at the seminar on Photography, The KHOJ International Artists’ Workshop, Bangalore, November 3, 2002.)

Notes and References

  1. Richard Hamilton, Studio International, March 1966.
  2. It will not always be possible to link this authenticity [of the photograph] with reportage, whose clichés associate themselves only verbally in the viewer. The camera will become smaller and smaller, more and more prepared to grasp fleeting, secret images whose shock will bring the mechanism of association in the viewer to a complete halt. At this point captions must begin to function, captions which understand the photography which turns all the relations of life into literature, and without which all photographic construction must remain bound in coincidences. Walter Benjamin, “Walter Benjamin’s Short History of Photography”1), tr. Phil Patton, Art Forum, (February 1977), p. 51. See also for a discussion on the relation of the photographic image with the caption: Nigel Warburton, “Photographic Communication”, British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 28, no. 2 (Spring 1988), 173 – 181.
  1. Siegfried Kracauer, “The Two Authenticities of the Photographic Media”, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 51, no. 4 (Fall 1993), p.537 – 540.
  2. Max Kozloff, “The Awning that Flapped in the Breeze and the Bodies that Littered the Field: Painting and the Invention of Photography”, Art Forum, vol. 20, no. 1(September 1981), p. 53 – 60.
  3. Irving Singer, “Santayana and the Ontology of the Photographic Image,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 36, no. 1, (Fall 1977), p.39 – 43.
  4. Rudolf Arnheim, “Art Today and the Film”, Art Journal, vol.25, no. 3 (Spring 1966), p.242.
  5. Judith Mara Gutman, “Through Indian eyes: Indigenous photography in the subcontinent”, IMPACT of science on society, No. 168, (vol. 42, no. 4) 1992, p. 347 – 48. Gutman illustrates her essay with six chosen photographs with captions like: ‘Prya Lal’s son,’ ca. 1885, ‘Nizam’s noble’s with Raj officials,’ ca. 1880, ‘Landowner who loves music,’ 1870, ‘Party after Shikar,’ ca. 1890, ‘Police unit,’ ca. 1900 and ‘Transporters’ from Marwari census, 1891.
  6. Richard Shiff, “Phototropism (Figuring the Proper)”, Retaining the Original: Multiple Originals, Copies, and Reproductions; Studies in the History of Art, vol. 20, ed., Kathleen Preciado, University of New England, 1989, p. 161 – 179.
  7. ibid. p. 174.
  8. Roger Scruton, “Photography and Representation,” Critical Inquiry, vol. 7, no. 3(Spring 1981), p.577 – 603.
  9. Harold Rosenberg, Portraits: Richard Avedon, Thames and Hudson, London, 1976.
  10. Walter Benjamin, cit.
  11. Siegfried Kracauer, “Photography” (1927), Critical Inquiry, vol. 19, no. 3, (1993), p.421 – 454.
  12. Edmund Leach, “Profanity and Context”, New Scientist, London, October 20, 1977.
  13. Leo Steinberg, “Eye is part of the Mind,” Other Criteria, Oxford University Press, (London 1972), p.293.

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