By Katherine Biber

Captive pictures examines the law’s therapy of photographic proof and makes use of it to enquire the connection among legislation, snapshot and delusion. established round the scholarly exam of a financial institution theft, during which a surveillance digital camera captures the theft in growth, Katherine Biber attracts upon severe writing from psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, artwork, legislation, literature and feminism to 'read' this crime, its texts and its photos. the result's an interdisciplinary examine of crime that unfolds a compelling narrative approximately race kinfolk, nationwide identification and worry. This publication is a necessary learn for all degrees of legislation scholars learning, or attracted to, legislation, criminology and cultural reports.

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Extra resources for Captive Images Race, Crime, Photography

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In the 2 See Lacan (1977: 101). Lacan speaks here about the function of the painter who creates images to be looked at: ‘The painter gives something to the person who must stand in front of his painting which, in part, at least, of the painting, might be summed up thus – You want to see? Well, take a look at this! ’ The national bank 31 national fantasy, the self and the Other must be adversaries. The symbolic order depends on the Other being opposite, inconsistent and obstacle. We imagine ourselves in opposition to the Other.

But certainty marks the end point of law, and so it is no wonder that law refuses to engage critically and theoretically with non-legal photographic discourse. The image shrinks in the sights of the law, given a meaning of its own, a meaning that operates only in a unique – legal – complex, where it may be seen but not spoken with, proof but not truth, beyond a reasonable doubt but not utterly certain. Law consigns certainty – and, with it, the photographic image – to a fantasy space, always visible but always also concealed.

He wrote: ‘It has been said that “not he who is ignorant of writing but ignorant of photography will be the illiterate of the future”. But isn’t a photographer who can’t read his own pictures worth less than an illiterate? ’ (Benjamin, 1980: 215) From this early stage, writers on photography were already conceding that photographs alone were insufficient. Photographs were not captured truth. A photograph would have meaning only when spoken about; a photograph depends upon language. Benjamin wrote about the revolutionary change that accompanied the emergence of mechanical reproduction in art.

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