Stereotype – Insight

STEREOTYPE:

something conforming to a fixed or general pattern;especially : a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment

This project assignment is very specific in concept.

It is both a linguistic and an intuitive/emotional exercise.

Your human subject will be represented photographically at least twice (two images, minimum.)

One view represents your subject as a stereotype. We view your subject as a member of a group primarily and not as an individual.

The group may be a social group implying social status or lack thereof, an ethnic, religious, political, etc.

The point is, that within this view, we see the subject as a member of the group. We see a Punk, a Goth, a lawyer, a father, a model, etc. This is the linguistic component insofar as we label our subject as a type.

The second image(s) reveal(s) the person behind the stereotype. It reveals the individual and his / her uniqueness. This class of image usually requires much time to be spent with the subject and many shots to be made. Your goal will be to capture the decisive moment as did Henri Cartier-Bresson with Coco Chanel.

We are no longer looking at a type. We are now seeing the real person.

The photographs you hand in should be candid especially for the second image type. The stereotype image may be posed, but not costumed. The stereotype classification should be principally derived from the subject’s normal behavior, facial expression, relationship to environment, etc.

Consider the following relationships:

  • REPRESENTATION : PRESENTATION
  • SIGNIFIER ; SIGNIFIED
  • LABEL : OBJECT
  • LANGUAGE : EXPERIENCE
  • SUBJECTIVE : OBJECTIVE
  • VEILED : TRANSPARENT
  • VIRTUAL : ACTUAL
  • IMAGE : ENTITY
  • GENERALITY : SPECIFICITY
  • ASSUMPTION : KNOWLEDGE
  • BELIEF : REALITY
  • DOGMA : SCIENCE
  • OPINION : FACT

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