Friday, February 6, 2009

Faces and identity

I showed these two shocking images during the defense of my master's thesis "Anatomical Identity: Levels of Identity Attached to Preserved Human Remains." Because we attach so much identity to the face, I was pointing out the irony that the man at the top was alive when the photograph was taken, while the expressive head at the bottom is obviously dead. Rather jarring, huh?

Top: German soldier injured in World War I, from Ernst Friedrich’s WAR against WAR!, Seattle: Real Comet Press, 1987 (Orig. published in German in 1924). Bottom: Dissected head in soup bowl, c. 1905 (The Burns Archive).

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