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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: Re-Writing the Sense of Place in 19th-Century Photography FERNANDO AZEVEDO Ph.D. Program in Art History Center for Media & Learning/New Media Lab CUNY ADVISORS Ana Chave, Romi Golan, Carol Armstrong, Joshua Brown

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marc ferrez in perspective re writing the sense of place in 19th century photography

MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE:Re-Writing the Sense of Place in 19th-Century Photography

FERNANDO AZEVEDO

Ph.D. Program in Art History

Center for Media & Learning/New Media Lab

CUNY

ADVISORS

Ana Chave,

Romi Golan,

Carol Armstrong,

Joshua Brown

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

The project focuses on the work of the 19th-century Brazilian photographer Marc Ferrez, more specifically on the series of photographs he made of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 1860 to 1910.

Marc Ferrez, c.1860

Panoramic View of Botafogo Bay, between Viuva and Pasmado Hills from the top of Corcovado; prior to the Urca landfill (c.1885)

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

It is my goal to situate Marc Ferrez’s practice as a Brazilian photographer in relation to other landscape photographers with similar projects operating in the United States and Europe.

Marc Ferrez. Dois Irmãos and Gávea, Rio deJaneiro, c.1885.

Timothy O’Sullivan

Cañon de Chelle,

New Mexico, 1783.

Francis Frith. Cairo, Sinai, Jerusalem and Pyramids, 1860.

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

Centering this investigation on 19th-century photography in Imperial Brazil–with its unexpected pioneering aspects and dynamism–adds a special significance to the project.

It might open alternative paths to dominant narratives on 19th-century photographycentered on the Europe-United States axis.

Abott Comptes.

The First Daguerreotype in Brazil, 1840.

The Imperial Family, 1887.

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

The study is structured around the concept of place:

How the sense of place has been addressed and transformed since the advent of photography, specially in its landscape and view modes.

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

…place as the specific settings of material bodies which give it specific attributes and qualities.

There is a special bond between body and place.

…place as something to be experienced.

Downtown Street Scene, c.1908.

…place as the concrete settings for local culture.

Bathers in Copacabana Beach, 1918.

Slaves working in a coffee farm, c.1880.

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

On the production side,

place surrounds the photographer:

• EXPERIENCE / PRESENCE

The clumsiness

of the 19th-century photographic apparatus and process defined outdoor photography as an intense and daring physical experience encompassing

all the senses.

Wet plate process.

Ferrez and his 200lb camera, Corcovado Mountain, c.1890.

Fenton’s photo van, c.1870.

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

On the reception side,

place is framed in the photograph.

• REPRESENTATION / ABSENCE

Panoramas, postcards, travel books became in great demand at end of the 19th century by an emerging audience of “armchair travelers.”

Two dimensional and strictly visual they represented place tamed and

re-ordered by photography.

Botafogo Bay, c.1880.

Avenida Central, c.1907.

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

THE IMAGE OF A CITY: RIO,1890s - RIO, 1990s

The project closes juxtaposing the images of Rio at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries:

one city, two places.

Copacabana Beach, 1930.

Carnival, 1918.

Carnival, 1994.

Ipanema Beach, 1990.

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

THE IMAGE OF A CITY: RIO,1890s - RIO, 1990s

Copacabana Beach, 1890-1980

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MARC FERREZ IN PERSPECTIVE: RE-WRITING THE SENSE OF PLACE IN 19TH-CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY

THE MULTIMEDIA PROJECT

The study will also confront the image of the city constructed through photographs with “images” established by other media: MUSIC, ART, LITERATURE, THEATER, FILM New Media seems to be the perfect fit.

Botafogo Bay, 1880.

On the other hand, the study of 19th-century photography in relation to the concept of place will inevitably produce a reflection on the nature of New Media. Photography, after all, is probably one of the first and most significant instances of technology transforming our perception of the world.