Visual history





Visual history

Question 1

Art has the ability to capture images and stories that might not be so obvious to many people. An artist gains a different perspective, which is unique from many people. This enables him to represent a different kind of reality, which can either be beautifying or revealing in such a sentimental way, to the extent that the rest of the people are forced to look at the same object. Vik Muniz manages to do this in Wasteland, as he captures the catadores in their work. To many other people in the country, the dump site, Jardim Gramacho, might not be of any significance to them, but to the people living there, it is their source of livelihood and survival. Muniz manages to capture the people’s lives through his artwork. He uses the materials in the dumpsite. He does not depend on fine and talented models to pose for him. He uses the people whose lives he wants to portray to the rest of the world. Through art, the people find a new meaning and perspective to their lives. Even though they have a lot of dignity and pride in their work, they are surprised that other people can still find them unique and useful enough to include them in professional and worthwhile work.  

People interested in fame are willing to do anything to get it. Thierry Guetta manages to do this, and it leads to his transformation. Unfortunately, some of the things that people do in their quest for fame do not always produce the intended results. They might end up having the opposite effect. Guetta manages to draw in crowds for his art shows and he gets a lot of money and fame in the process. His failure to do anything unique that sets him apart and the resulting success puts into doubt the hard work that other artists go through when creating their work. He does not take the time to develop his talent and his work largely lacks the originality associated with art and artists. Nobody within the art circles know him, and neither has he held any prior art shows. However, he manages to become an overnight success. Rather than representing art as authentic and sincere, the documentary just shows how less people are willing to find out about genuine art forms.

The story of the sugar man shows the music goes beyond the influence of ones homeland. An artist is recognized beyond his borders if the music that he or she plays influences, inspires, and connects with people. The people in South Africa connected with Sixto Rodriguez because some of the issues he spoke about affected them directly. They were facing apartheid at the time and they held protests as a way of demonstrating their desire to change the existing political system. Rodriguez fans in South Africa did not seem to care much about where he was from or his personality, but they were more interested in the music he sang and in the messages that he passed to them. Rodriguez did not get the same fame in his country. This shows that the people could not relate to his music. People should not just be concerned with the fame they will get when they choose to do something, but they should look for a higher goal for their inspiration.

Ai Weiwei shows the power that art and the social media has. The two can effect changes in the country, which happens because of people’s changed perspective. The social media enables a person to communicate across a wider scope and influence more people in the process. It has the ability to inform people of things that they might not be aware of, especially if they do not have any access to information. The efforts of Weiwei show that people can use the social media for both good and bad. People are able to act when they have more information. On the other hand, the social media and art that does not necessarily meet the government’s approval has placed the artist in a public eye. The authorities know more about him and they are critical of every step that he makes. Art and the social media is an effective media as it enables communication, which leads to the empowerment of the people because they have the information they need.     

Question 2

Documentaries give the directors a chance to research their stories and to tell more about them. The directors go beyond common knowledge as they seek to uncover truths that the rest of the public may not be aware of, thus giving people the answers they have desired for a long time. Documentaries cover multiple perspectives of issues at hand. The directors are not interested in reporting their side of the story, since they do not have to take any sides. Their main objective is to find the unresolved answers. Their objectivity enables them to uncover as many details as they possibly can. The availability of information through different forms of research, including interviews with the interested parties, enables the directors to authenticate the historical past. They are able to confirm the legitimacy of historical events, though this largely depends on the resources at their disposal.

Watching documentaries gives people the chance to look at the political and social issues facing them differently. People form their opinions and take sides on issues based on the information they have. They increase the information they have concerning a certain issue by watching documentaries. The films may be in such a way that they present controversial information that makes people transform their thinking about long held beliefs, or it may give them a reassurance and reaffirm their viewpoints and attitudes. This means that they have the capability of shifting people’s historical beliefs. Well-researched and original documentaries serve the purpose of increasing knowledge and this can lead to a change of behavior and thought.  

Many directors seek to cover interesting stories that will capture people’s imagination. They are not just interested in presenting information that people can get on the news. They are also not solely interested in entertainment, as there are many other forms of entertainment. This drives the directors to pursue their stories. The directors get the chance to reintroduce someone or something in history. They cover important issues which people rarely think about, and which they do not think are substantial in their lives. However, the quality of documentaries depends on the editing process that take place. Although the directors might have captured many diverse aspects of an issue, the editing process can make the whole process futile, since it can end up being subjective.

Social media has increased communication and awareness. People do not have to wait to receive the news from their television sets. They get the news as it happens directly. The news is not analyzed, and the facts, as presented are not confirmed. Thus, they might not be reliable and they may end up passing the wrong message. Whenever a disaster happens, people are always ready to send the images and sounds of the day to the rest of the world through their connections on social media. They may seem to represent all the news and events that are happening, because of all the images they post. Their representation of facts, despite the evidence that they have, does not give a clear representation of reality. It instead represents their perception of what has happened.

On spot recording has the advantage of capturing people without their awareness. People tend to be more sincere since they are in their natural element. They are not reading from any script, and neither are they depending on anyone’s direction to guide their actions. On the other hand, some people can get nervous or overly excited and they might not be their true selves. This will affect the directors’ ability to pass on the message. Thus, on-the-spot recording can strengthen or adulterate the truth

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