Andermann on Photography, Slide 2

State capture of what is outside it (the frontier) is represented in a permanent deferral of its origin in violence. This violent origin can most clearly be seen from the end, not the beginning of state expansion.

Photographs of the conquest are staged, becoming images of violence turned into and indeed generating visual order. The indigenous other has to have “bare life” over which the state can be seen taking power. It is as though the cadavers were being asked to represent their own deaths — so they are spectres in the photographs, seen at the moment of dying, showing the moment of victory of the state (and of commercial power).

There is an important element of farce in state expansion and its representation  — everything appears in an “as if” mode. And you have to represent domination, and gather visual trophies.

I have to think about all of this as it is dense and I have not really absorbed it. There are very suggestive sentences and phrases, e.g. about colonial power as the partial presence of history and the Western subject.

I am interested in the half-veiled, the issue or origin that is denied, forgotten or buried but that is also half visible, and begs for interpretation yet also hides. Like Cecilia Valdés.

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