Daily Archives: December 3, 2014

The Hug (HUM425/HUM415)

Bret Barnum, Devonte Hart

This image was made at a rally in Portland, Oregon by Johnny Nguyen, published in the Oregonian, and rapidly disseminated via “social” media (isn’t all media inherently social?). The apparent message of the image is immediately accessible given adequate context: a single human gesture can bridge the racial divide. But of course, signification is never so simple. For Jonathan Jones, the image is deeply dishonest:

A picture does not have to be staged to be a lie. It just has to be massively unrepresentative of the wider facts and enthusiastically promoted to iconic status in a way that obscures those facts.

Take a look and see what you think: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/02/hug-photographs-ferguson-protests-lie