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TOKYO VISIONS: CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE SEARCH FOR A SUBJECTIVE DOCUMENTARY by Thomas Francis O‟Leary ________________________________________________________________________ A Dissertation Presented to the FACULTY OF THE USC GRADUATE SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (ART HISTORY) December 2009 Copyright 2009 Thomas Francis O‟Leary
|Title||Tokyo visions: contemporary Japanese photography and the search for a subjective documentary|
|Author||O'Leary, Thomas Francis|
|Author firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com|
|Degree||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Degree program||Art History|
|School||College of Letters, Arts and Sciences|
|Advisor (committee chair)||
Reynolds, Jonathan M.
Meyer, Richard E.
|Advisor (committee member)||
Berger, Gordon M.
Lee, Sonya S.
|Abstract||In the 1950s, the ideals of "realism" and "objectivity" dominated the world of photography in Japan. However, by the end of the decade, claims to such an ideal were subject to scrutiny as photographers increasingly found it difficult to ignore their role in the creation of the image. The select group of photographers that make up this study moved steadily away from the idea that the photographer was merely a mechanism through which "reality" could be related to the viewer. Photographers in the mid-1950s developed what could be called a "subjective documentary" that foregrounded the presence and choices made by the photographer. By the 1990s, photographers responded to such claims of subjectivity and objectivity by focusing entirely on their own self-representation. Of central concern is the question of how concepts such as objectivity and subjectivity have been understood in the practice of photography.; I begin my study with the innovative photography collective, Vivo, because it was the first significant photo group to begin to question the claims of objectivity made by a previous generation of photographers such as Domon Ken and Natori Yonosuke in an attempt to produce photography that acknowledged the presence of the photographer within its work. I will show that these photographers injected their personal feelings into their images as a way to allow the viewer to read the ideas and concerns of the photographers within the work. I then address the photographers who created the photo-journal, Provoke, in the late-1960s. This group of photographers made use of heavy-handed, graphic techniques to question the role of vision in memory as a means to highlight the subjective aspect of photographic records. They developed a shaky and blurry style of image-making that they believed created photographs that foregrounded their experience with vision. In the early 1970s, however, another shift took place within the field of photography. Araki Nobuyoshi and Fukase Masahisa, working independently of one another, came to be the flag-bearers for a style of photography that focused almost entirely on the photographer. Both men asserted, through their work, that since experience of the world is mediated by the individual, one must first understand that individual before one can understand the world. Finally, I will introduce a parallel history to this male-dominated view of photographic history by illustrating the contributions of several female photographers to this trajectory. Women were, despite the many narratives that might suggest otherwise, a large part of this development and, in fact, have taken solid hold of the latest chapter in its development.; Since its development, photographers have used the camera to investigate the nature of "objectivity" and "subjectivity" in visual practice. The photographers of this study are connected by a desire to expand the boundaries of visual representation beyond what would appear to be a simplistic expression of observed "reality." They represent several different styles and trends, but are ultimately joined by what they considered to be a sense of incompleteness regarding the ability of the camera to create unmediated viewing experiences. As photography has become increasingly personal, it has provided a window through which one could view "realities" that don't necessarily adhere to a standard determined by others.|
|Keyword||photography; Japan; art; documentary; subjectivity; objectivity; Domon Ken; Natori Yonosuke; Tomatsu Shomei; Hosoe Eiko; Kawada Kikuji; Narahara Ikko; Nakahira Takuma; Moriyama Daido; Taki Koji; Araki Nobuyoshi; Fukase Masahisa; Tokiwa Toyoko; Ishiuchi Miyako; Nagashima Yurie; I-novel; shi-shashin; memory; avant-garde|
|Geographic subject (country)||Japan|
|Part of collection||University of Southern California dissertations and theses|
|Publisher (of the original version)||University of Southern California|
|Place of publication (of the original version)||Los Angeles, California|
|Publisher (of the digital version)||University of Southern California. Libraries|
|Provenance||Electronically uploaded by the author|
|Legacy record ID||usctheses-m2749|
|Contributing entity||University of Southern California|
|Rights||O'Leary, Thomas Francis|
|Repository name||Libraries, University of Southern California|
|Repository address||Los Angeles, California|
|Contributing entity||University of Southern California|
|Full text||TOKYO VISIONS: CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE SEARCH FOR A SUBJECTIVE DOCUMENTARY by Thomas Francis O‟Leary ________________________________________________________________________ A Dissertation Presented to the FACULTY OF THE USC GRADUATE SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (ART HISTORY) December 2009 Copyright 2009 Thomas Francis O‟Leary|