Tin, Mikkel B. (ed.): Faces between Fact and Fiction

Tin, Mikkel B. (ed.): Faces between Fact and Fiction

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Studies on Photographic Portraits in Norway

What is a photographic portrait? A moment in a life story, or the essence of a life? A portrait of the sitter, or a portrait of the photographer? Unmistakable truth, or staged imposture?

And when the portrait in full face is accompanied by a portrait in profile, the subject we see in the picture is perhaps more properly an object? A suspect object of public control, or an interesting object of scientific research?

Often, portraits appear in series. Are these still photographs of individuals, or are they meant to visualize typical features? Features of a period, a social group, an exotic culture, perhaps a race? Are such series descriptive or normative? Does the photographic medium contribute to the canonization of certain groups, and stigmatization of others?

The photographic portrait conveys presence as well as absence. The photographic portrait compels us to ask whether we are still here in our bodies, or perhaps rather there in our pictures. Whatever the answer, the split between me and my picture prompts a reflexivity which is distinctive of Modernity, and that Modernity largely owes to photography.

In the present anthology, taking their starting points in various examples of Norwegian photographic portraiture, a number of scholars discuss the position of photographic portraits between fact and fiction: Trond Bjorli, Marthe T. Fjellestad, Aliona Pazdniakova, Marie Fongaard Seim, Thale Sørlie, Mikkel B. Tin.


Contents

Foreword

1. Mikkel B. Tin. Introduction

2. Thale Elisabeth Sørlie. The Ideal Type. Photographic Portraits as Physical-Anthropological Images of Race
Physical Anthropology
Norske bygder and Lokaluntersuchungen in Valle
Biology as a Cultural Source
To Capture a Likeness
Model and Illustration
The Face as an Identity Marker
The Face as a Timeless Place
Portraying a Type

3. Trond Erik Bjorli and Marie Fongaard Seim. Faces of the Nation. Photographer A. B. Wilse’s Portraits of Celebrated Norwegian Men and Women in the First Decades of the 20th Century
The Public Portrait
Wilse’s Background
A National Elite
Portrait of a Society
Characterizing the Model: The Face, the Place, or ‘Painterly’ Qualities?
The Pictorial Portrait
The Photographer and the Model
Knut Hamsun (Portrayed Through the Family)
Conclusion

4. Marthe Tolnes Fjellestad. To See Oneself in Those Who Were: Sophus Tromholt’s Portrait of Inger Andersdatter Bæhr
Pictures from the Land of the Lapps: Tromholt’s Portraits from Kautokeino
Portrait or Documentation?
Looks that Meet
Small Stories and Big Histories
New Picture Channels and New Uses of Pictures: Colouring the Past
Monumental Abstraction
Pictures of Self

5. Mikkel B. Tin. When Modernity Reached Sauherad with a Polish Refugee and His Camera
The Arrival of Photography
Archaic Photography in Pre-Modern Times. 1860–1870
The Classic Photographic Portrait. 1880–1890
Victor Huczkowski

6. Aliona Pazdniakova. Photographer in the Mirror

Contributors


ISBN 978-82-8390-023-1, 231 pp., paperback
Format: 19,3x23,8 cm, weight 0,7 kg, year of publication 2019, language: English

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