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5. Description - Daido Moriyama Daido Moriyama took this photograph two years after the 1968 publication of The Bikeriders by Danny Lyon. Taken during the course of an extended stay with the motorcycling community Chicago Outlaws, Lyon’s work is decisive in inaugurating a new strain of photojournalism, where the photographer is personnally involved in the events he is describing. The shortening of distances theoretically leads to an increase in the level of authenticity. This echoes the logic of participative observation in the field of ethnographical research, which is based on integrating the researcher into the social group that is being studied. But what degree of authenticity can the photograph guarantee when the faces of all its subjects are erased with a single blow? Maintaining that the photograph shows what is captured on the film is clearly correct. Yet, the photograph does many things at the same time: it describes, interprets, encodes, decodes and - at the peak of its expansion in American culture - it transfigures the bodies of ten Yokohama motorcyclists making them almost indistinguishable from their overseas counterparts.

6. Distance - Asako Narahashi By representing the infinitely small (filmed through a microscope) and the infinitely huge (the earth seen from the moon), photography has taught us that objects and facts are transformed in proportion to the distance from which we observe them. From a few centimeters the ocean mutates into a dense, jet black magma that engulfs everything, including the reflected sunlight and the planes flying overhead. From ‘Half Awake and Half Asleep in the Water’, 2002,

c-print, 55 x 37 cm.

Bikeriders, Yokohama, 1970, gelatin silver print, 30 x 21.5 cm.


Fantom Photographic Quarterly · Issue 01  

Fantom Photographic Quarterly, Issue 01, Autumn 2009