Intimate lives.

Charlotte Cotton said, ‘A useful starting point for considering how intimate photography is structured is to think about how it borrows and redirects the language of domestic photography and family snaps for public display. We generally take pictures at symbolic points in family life, at times we acknowledge our relationship bonds and social achievements. These are moments we want to hold on to, emotionally and visually. …the celebratory is sought out through the visualization of healthy functioning familial roles. What remains absent in such images, however, are things we perceive as culturally mundane or taboo. Art photography on the other hand, while embellishing the aesthetics of family snaps, oben substitutes the emotional flip-side for their expected scenarios: sadness, disputes and illness. Page 137-8.

An example on someone exposing their intimate lives in Tracey Emin’s image ‘My bed, 1998’.


Each photograph is read as the private appearance of its referent: the age of Photography corresponds precisely to the explosion of the private into the public, or rather into the creation of a new social value, which is the publicity of the private: the private is consumed as such, publicly. Roland Barthes – “Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography” (c1981)

In 1982, Larry Sultan visited his parents in LA. After finding some old family film, this led him to questioning the family, he got excited by the memories that were captured. So, he created this series, ‘Pictures from home’.

“What drives me to continue this work is difficult to name. It has more to do with love than with sociology, with being a subject in the drama rather than a witness. . . . I realize that beyond the rolls of film and the few good pictures, the demands of my project and my confusion about its meaning, is the wish to take photography literally. To stop time. I want my parents to live forever.”







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