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John Tagg (1988) A.Democracy of the Image: Photographic Portraiture and Commodity Production (from The Burden of Representation Essays on Photographies and Histories

I A foul society has flung itself, like Narcissus, to gaze at its trivial image on metal. (Baudelaire, Salon of 1859) narcissus gazed into water, but water is not fixed

It is a commonplace now to say that we could not go through a day without seeing a photograph. [now even more than ever] We are surrounded by advertising hoardings, newsphotos, magazine covers, window displays and posters of all kinds. But amongst all these there is a special kind of photograph, more pressing and more intimate. [in todays day and age shared with everyone else on whatever platform we can imagine] These are the photographs we carry in our wallets how many pictures are still kept in our wallets? [in the phones in our pockets?], set on our sideboards and mantelpieces, collect in albums, and stick in our passports, bus passes or student cards. They are images of ourselves, our family our friends; portraits whose meaning and value lie in countless social exchanges and rituals which would now seem incomplete without photography. [without sharing them to social media]A wedding, the committal of a prisoner to gaol (jail), a response to a lonely-hearts advertisement(tinder/grindr), an application to a university, a sporting victory, a departure for war: aU these are sealed by the making and exchanging of a photograph - a portrait.[different kinds of meanings and use fields; wtih very different connections] I Wrench them from their contexts and put them together and you have the 'family album' in which we make one kind of sense of our lives. (what If you don't have any ?) A childhood studio portrait, a school photo, a wedding group, a passport photograph, an identity pic, a holiday snapshot majority of images made now are snapshots: we all have them. You could probably put together a similar selection (instagram profile?). [is snapshot a degrading name for a photograph; polaroids as the "snapshots" of yesteryear; not a new idea just a different form of going about it; today we take it even a step further and create and share images in a form where they only stay for 24 hours] [different views to someone like Susan Sontag; talking about the impact of different ways of using a photograph; also related to the general media it is used with]