46 Pages

Possessing the subject: The photographic copy


Photography involves different stages of reproduction-from capturing the original subject, to the production of a negative, to the printing of a positive image. André Bazin described the psychology of these relationships in his essay “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” (1945). He compares a photograph to relics such as a death mask or the Holy Shroud of Turin that use what he calls an objective process of embalming, of molding light or earth to transfer the physical body of the original, through time and space, to the image.1