Toronto Metropolitan University
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Photographic representations of 'truth': the history and contemporary practice of photographic narrative tableaux

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posted on 2021-05-24, 14:26 authored by D'Arcy L. l. White
This thesis explores the history of photographic narrative tableau from the Victorian era, through modernism, postmodernism, and postmodernism examining, as case studies, the contemporary work of Patrick Nagatani and Gregory Crewdson. It illustrates how this genre evolved over time, noting technological, social and cultural influences affecting artists and their work. It includes a discussion of contemporaneous photographic theory and criticism, and illustrates how staged narrative tableau photographs have a paradoxical relationship to the problematic concept of truth. Topics discussed include artifce, the uncanny, paradox, the contemporary sublime, and the aesthetics of seduction; the complicit gaze, anti narrative, and the role of the viewer; the use of language, words, and signs; fact, myth, truth, and the (re)creation of history; theatricality, melodrama, and metaphor; allegory, Simulation, simulacra, reality, and the real.





  • Master of Arts


  • Photographic Preservation and Collections Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis