Susan Sontag | Post-mortem photography: the condition of Susan Sontag’s body

Nobody likes Susan Sontag The great North American society critic who passed away in 2004, on reflection Photography ethics, one of his greatest horses. He did so early in his article about photography And shortly before death in the primary Regarding the pain of others. The writing of this book comes in parallel with the third cancer he was facing and the images of torture at Abu Ghraib that circulated at the time showed Iraqi soldiers enjoying these terrible tasks. This was not the first time the images attacked the author. As a child, she encountered a book Holocaust pictures That was her before and after in her formation as people. The picture is never neutral and that is how he left it written. I’m calling The camera is a “predatory weapon”. He stated that its use can become “aggression”.

However, paradoxically, the writer’s longest and deepest relationship was with Photographer, Annie Leibovitzalthough they did not mention each other at all Husband in public. They couldn’t be further away. Leibovitz loved the glamor of movie stars she stunningly captured on camera and was known for being the last to snap a photoshoot in front of John Lennon and Yoko Ono just hours before Mark David Chapman did it in front of the singer with a real gun. Sontag was the polar opposite, a profound and profound thinker who was often implacable and terrible. They met when Leibovitz was 39 and Sontag was over 55.

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It was the final stage of Sontag’s disease meticulously documented by his partner’s camera. The writer, who never resigned herself to the possibility of death, even denying the illness, ended up having a painful bone marrow transplant that didn’t work. During this process, her friend’s goal was there, which was to document the terrible battle with death every day.

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Intimacy is exposed

Two years after her death, a retrospective of all her work was shown to Leibovitz at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and she was presented with a dilemma: Should she include the photographs she had taken of her deathbed companion and even her own death? What did he do when he was already a corpse? They were part of his life. And he never wanted to reveal his privacy. She consulted with some mutual friends, but did not accept the hesitation of Sontag’s son, David Reeve, who was reminded by the photographer that one of photography’s first jobs was photographing the dead for their memory. The photograph in question, in black and white, divided by its author into several superimposed fragments joined with adhesive tape in a panoramic view, shows the remains of the dead in the coffin. It was the most disturbing image on the show and ever since Rieff and Leibovitz became staunch opponents. The son wrote that these were “carnival images of the death of a celebrity” to support a reflection that seems in keeping with his mother’s writing. Even if it was herself who allowed her partner to document her recent defeat.

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