The Social Analysis of Absence in Historical Narratives of Photography

Document Type : Research Article


Author; Faculty Member of Sistan and Baluchistan University;


Problem Statement: The quality and meaning of life are continuously attached to the presence of elements, objects, things, people and concepts; the absence means denying and depriving the presence, has strengthen this concept, hence has been frequently presented in philosophy and art fields. The concept of absence as an art strategy has been presented at the context of many artworks, especially in the present century. In photographic contexts due to introducing the previous presence of things, ‘absence’ finds a referral function. But the main question here is that, how in the photographic contexts, we might be able to find the existence of historical narratives behind them, through the absence of elements and things?
Research objective: Photographs as the ever-present contexts, whether on private albums or in art/ news studios, even on virtual social spaces, offer a variety of absences with different origins, and [therein] the historical analysis arising from it in these works would lead to a better understanding of the human social context. The research hypothesis here is that photograph as a historical context, when linked to and analyzed by the narratives surrounding it, would present the ‘absence’ as a means of denying the presence of suppressed forces in the social context, that potentially have the power to participate and alter the actions of every day’s life.
Research Method: was done based on the social history of the photographic contexts, as in this approach, behaviors, events and beliefs, besides being part of daily life context, are also important in the process of historical research.
Conclusion: Absence in the picture frame, is able to represent the latent power behind the different social classes; Moreover, the standpoint of elements related to absence within the historical context and its continuation at photograph scale will be discussed and explained the way that photography exploits the absence as a modern concept to represent a different content and various readings.


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