Konsumtionskulturen : Ett porträtt i tiden

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Konstvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this essay is to examine documentary photographs using art-science methods. The subject of the analyzes is photographer Lauren Greenfield’s project Generation Wealth, which reflects the Western consumer culture of our time. From a social-constructivist perspective, three photographs from this 25-year project are examined. These three photographs follow the theme of money and portray three different occasions that are not related to each other, but which are linked here as three subsequent steps in the theme. With the help of Erwin Panofsky's iconological interpretation model, the photographs are examined to reach a deeper meaning than merely documents about an event or of specific individuals. The iconological interpretation helps to put the photographs in a wider context which makes them symbols of our time. On the basis of the preparatory analyzes, connections are made with art historical works that both visually and contextually becomes keys in the interpretation. The photography of Phoebe 17 years becomes a symbol of the role of young people, especially girls, as objects in a consumer system. Eli Broad Dinner Party symbolizes how money controls the art market while this photograph also play with gender order. The photograph of Florian Homm becomes evidence of the emptiness that comes with the quest to constantly achieve financial success.  The analyzes also discuss the division between documentary photography and art photography with the conclusion that such a division inhibits the photograph's sub-meanings. Such a division becomes a clear sign of social constructions and it’s need to categorize and place them in different fields. The essay discusses photography as a reality portrayal. This is a complex discussion which determines of the context in which the photograph is located. By simultaneously seeking an understanding of photography as a medium and by reading photography as a text, the photographs shows how social constructs are inherited and contribute to standards that keep people trapped in the culture of consumption.

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