Bradley Phillips

Virtual Symptom

Due large in part to photographic history and the rise of the medical gaze, photographic images as seen today can be observed and read effectively through psychoanalytic theory. The historical shift from objective to subjective was one that would dominate the future understanding of the photographic medium. A foundation of photographic observation formulated by Jean-Martin Charcot in the 1860's created a framework in which viewers both provide the voice absent in a still image and are encouraged to decipher the narrative they apply. This historical relationship between image and viewer has been embedded within photographic discourse. The images of Virtual Symptom demonstrate how photography's psychoanalytic history has become integral for spectators to uncover narratives, but allow viewers to self determine the desire and fantasy behind each image.