FATESCAPES: Iconic Photographs Without People


1968 Saigon - FATESCAPES/Osudové krajiny

If that photo above looks strangely familiar, that's because, chances are, you actually have seen it before visual artist Pavel Maria Smejkal artfully erased the people in Eddie Adam's General Nguyen Ngoc Loan Executing a Viet Cong Prisoner in Saigon.

James Estrin wrote this interesting post for The New York Times's photography blog Lens:

“Fatescapes” examines both the role and limitations of the photographic image as a historical document. “I remove the central motifs from historical documentary photographs,” Mr. Smejkal wrote in an e-mail. “I use images that have become our cultural heritage, that constitute memory of nations, serve as symbols or tools of propaganda and exemplify a specific approach to photography.” [...]

Using a simple Photoshop tool, Mr. Smejkal has reshaped these images and challenged us to confront the relationship of photographer, image and history in a manner that is profoundly unsettling. Viewing “Fatescapes” encourages you to wonder if it even matters whether Mr. Adams’s general was misrepresented or if Mr. Capa’s photo was not what it purported to be.

Who says Photoshopping ain't art? Link | Artist's gallery at Photo Art Centrum

Previously on Neatorama: 13 Photographs That Changed The World


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I hadn't even noticed there were buildings in that photo! And looking at the others I only recognised the Kim Phuc one because they'd showed the original.

The only one I could identify without the original is the photo from Tiananmen Square.
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