Pictures and the Public Sphere to purchase W.J.T.

One of Mitchell's key themes is that of the"metapicture," (a picture which is about itself) a concept mined from thenew art history and the study of visual culture.

Yet he is careful toqualify his work as neither offering a new theory nor iconoclasticjeremiads.

In Mitchell's well-known viewBlake's illuminated books seem designed to elicit the full range ofassociations between visual and verbal literacy, and construct image-textcombinations which display a spectrum of relations extending from thedisjunctive to the synthetic.

William John Thomas Mitchell (born March 24, 1942) — known as W.J.T

Why not the photo novel or lyric or narrative or just the "photo text"?

Mitchell's attempts, however, to steer a course betweenthe Scylla and Charybdis of the postmodern paradigms which dominated theartspeak of the late eighties do not always meet with complete success.


The Zapruder film, once it enters mass circulation, spreading throughout the habitat of national and international imaginaries, clearly wants something, especially in the sense that it lacks and needs something, namely, an explanatory frame, a context. It becomes the central exhibit in every conspiracy theory, every judicial and journalistic investigation into the Kennedy assassination. And it reaches its apotheosis, in my view, when it is woven into the mise en scene of Oliver Stone's JFK. There, it is as if this kernel "fabula," as you describe it, becomes the primal scene of what Stone called a "myth," literally (as Northrop Frye would insist) a "song about a god." It's as if not just the event represented in the Zapruder film, but its grainy, out of focus, jumpy, and fragmentary character becomes the fundamental tonal structure of Oliver Stone's cinematography in this film.

Photographic essay wjt mitchell

Mitchell is less persuasive in his chapter on "Art andthe Public Sphere." Following the lead of the Frankfurt School and theFrench critique of the "scopic regime," Mitchell asks us consider the roleof art and image-making in an international corporate culture as heelaborates the relation of "mass spectacle" to "the mediatization ofexperience" (365).

photographic essay wjt mitchell

Mitchell also examines the ways inwhich unrealistic racial stereotypes in the film can be seen as realisticrepresentations of the way blacks are perceived in the public sphere.

Photographic essay wjt mitchell - Coursework Academic Writing Service

— I think the Zapruder film is a perfect case of an image—or rather a whole image-sequence—"wanting" a narrative and discursive frame, in the multiple senses of wanting—i.e., needing, demanding, and lacking. The film is, from the very beginning, already a re-appropriation, a doubled image in the sense that the Presidential motorcade was itself a deliberately staged "photo op," meant to put on stage the openness and youthfulness of the Kennedy presidency, by driving through the hostile streets of Dallas without a protective bubble, his beautiful young wife by his side. The scene was, in that sense, meant to be shot —though of course not in this way. It shows the riskiness in the notion of the photo op as such, the staged production of an image which can be re-appropriated and take on a significance quite antithetical to the producers' intentions. (For a comic parallel, we might look at the "Mission Accomplished" photo op staged by the Bush administration to declare victory in Iraq, which became the subject of numerous parodies, and had to be resolutely disavowed by the White House).