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From model to sitter

Green, Michelle, Maes, Hans R.V. (2023) From model to sitter. Aesthetic Investigations, 6 (2). pp. 158-173. ISSN 2352-2704. (doi:10.58519/aesthinv.v6i2.16888) (KAR id:104846)


This paper focuses on historic anthropological photographs, meant to depict Indigenous individuals as generic models of colonial stereotypes, and examines their later reclamation as portraits. Applying an intention-based account of portraiture, we discuss the historical context and contemporary examples of the utilisation of these images in order to address several questions. What happens when the depicted persons in colonial imagery are treated and presented as sitters, rather than model specimens? Does this change the nature of the image? If a photograph was not originally intended as a portrait, can it come to function as such at a later stage? Regardless of whether they fulfill all the requirements necessary for portraiture, these colonial photographs represent a vital resource for the reclamation of Indigenous cultural heritage. As such, this paper serves as an introductory discussion into the complex issues surrounding the recategorisation, repatriation, and restitution of colonial photographic archives.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.58519/aesthinv.v6i2.16888
Uncontrolled keywords: portraiture, colonial photography, portrait
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Department of Philosophy
Depositing User: Hans Maes
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2024 13:10 UTC
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2024 12:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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