[annotated image: Karl Steel]
by J J Cohen
In the comments to this post, I wrote:
Karl provided an annotated illustration, with a serious undercurrent: something doesn't seem quite right about the visual enhancement of the publicity image.
I'm still wondering about why several of the hoard pictures were modified (given that they are digital images, they were probably all modified, but the addition of a fake reflection seems of a different order than the balancing of contrast and or tweaking of color saturation). On the one hand, I honestly do like the collaborative nature of the image in question: Anglo-Saxon and contemporary artists ally themselves across the centuries in a shared endeavor. The beauty has its pull, as the crowds in Birmingham have made clear. Or was it history's gravity that drew the visitors to the museum, that draws us to the internet to view the hoard? Does history have its own beauty, or is the muck of history what gets cleaned away from the hoard in order to transform an earthbound concretion into discrete aesthetic objects, into lovely images?