Wednesday, October 12, 2005

ghosts in the fish

if you're close enough to Manhattan to get to the Met anytime during the rest of this year (though for the subject matter, October's probably most appropriate) you should look into the "Perfect Medium" exhibit: photos from the turn of the last century (that would be the round the 19-aughts) that purported to reveal ghosts & the spirit world, that enlisted photography to provide manifest proof of the immaterial: emanations and auras; thoughts, hallucinations, and dreams; or the spirits of the deceased.

i haven't made it to the exhibit yet, but i'm going to try, because the images are truly bizarre, not least because they were created a century before photoshop & its kin.


Eugène Thiébault (French, b. 1825)
Henri Robin and a Specter, 1863
Albumen silver print; 22.9 x 17.4 cm
Collection Gérard Lévy, Paris

9 little fish:

Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

oh man - i wish i was out there to see this

2:18 PM  
Blogger anne swam up to say...

Ooh. Spooky. Kind of.

4:51 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

also kinda cheesy. but still.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Jay swam up to say...

It's impressive the lengths some people will go to!

7:19 AM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

what do you mean - all these are real, aren't they?

11:14 AM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Those are some great images. I'm sorry I won't be able to go see them but I will email my friend Scott as I'm sure this is something he would enjoy. It is always fun to discover old photos, movies, etc. in which they found ways to do amazing special effects with the technology that they had available coupled with their own ingenuity. Nice post!

11:31 AM  
Blogger jason evans swam up to say...

The spiritualism movement of the 19th century is fascinating! Ever hear of Mr. Splitfoot? I read that a ghost called Mr. Splitfoot (a hoax perpetrated by two girls) launched the whole spiritualism phenomenon.

BTW I have a better ghost picture! :) It's called "Ghost on the Stairs" on my blog.

1:56 PM  
Blogger oldben swam up to say...

my favorite ghost picture was on the cover of a ghost book we had at my grammar school library. it was always a choice between ghost books and choose your own adventure books...they were always good for ignoring history lessons.

10:03 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

of course they're real mysfit. obviously. just like ouija boards.

carl v: it is indeed fascinating how determined people get when they're out to prove an ontology, as it were.
i just like that word.
ontology.

jason: that's pretty wicked, especially considering the detail you go into...maybe i'll make ghost photos the same night i carve jack-o-lanterns.

oldben: hai! i still have bizarrely crystalline memories of my grade school library.

10:10 PM  

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