Featured post

Contemporary Narratives - Photography: A Short Guide to History, Theory, and Practice: Online Course Starting April 27th 2022

  Sign up to my new series of talks on Contemporary Narratives - Photography: A Short Guide to History, Theory, and Practice .  Starts on Ap...

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Invisible Papa

Thanks to Simon Anstey for sharing this picture with me.  The title was invisible 'papa'because of the war - it was in French so possibly this  is fromFrance and the First World War. 

But it is the string, the coathanger and the arm around the greatcoat waist that make this picture so moving, tragic and modern. It's a kind of memento mori of absence.

Was this a common way of photographing loss? Was this part of a series to photograph missing loved ones/ I would love to know.


Stan B. said...

Yes, such a splendid example cries out for more!

Anonymous said...

dulce et decorum est pro patria mori


Anonymous said...

Thanks to Jessica Hines


Gavin McL said...

The British Victorian photographs that I've seen that deal with death and loss often use what are to us quite subtle signifiers such as wreaths or types of flowers. This is however French and of a slightly later period and the frighteningly large death toll experienced by the French during WW1 may have driven people to explore more demonstrative methods of illustrating their loss. The empty greatcoat could however be "place holder" in the first stage of a photomontage which weren't uncommon

Jumpingjacquesflash said...

Hi Colin,
By looking to find information about this picture I found it several times back on Greek websites.
One of them mentioned a long story.
You can find it here and use Google translate; as it is in Greek.

Greetings, Jacques

colin pantall said...

Thanks Jacques - that's a fictional version, but it's a lovely story.