17 January 2006

Ethical Qualms

I want to call attention to a set of ethical qulams
Joerg Colberg expresses concerning "The Disaster as Fine Art"
in his post (1/17/06) on his very good blog Conscientious.
He compares images by Chris Jordan, Luc Delahaye and
Thomas Rabsch that depict post-Katrina damage, war dead,
and the aftermath of cannibalism respectively. I think Joerg
raises a hard question. What precisely is it about such
images that is disturbing? Is it that same across the three
cases (or others?)? This, of course, is what theorists like Susan
Sontag and John Berger have been asking, or prompting us
to ask, for many years. Why has there been so little progress
in sorting out this problem? Joerg takes an important step
by trying to set, however informally, a comparative
context in which to address it.

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