Sector C: Art Practice and Technology
Peter Decherney (CINE&ENGL), Sharka Hyland (FNAR)
Shooting the Stars: A Study of Paparazzi History, Culture, and Imagery
The focus of this research project is paparazzi, celebrity, and the idea of the camera as a weapon. The goal is to investigate the legal, cultural, and aesthetic changes that occurred throughout celebrity history, in order to ascertain how paparazzi practice, as we know it today, came to exist. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, celebrities seemingly exercised a great deal of control over which of their photographs were released to the public. Today, however, paparazzi practice is comparatively ruthless, so much so that photography has become synonymous with threat and aggression, and the camera itself is conceived of as a weapon. In the contemporary context of celebrity and paparazzi, then, photographers arguably “shoot” their subjects in more ways than one; the aim of this thesis is to document the historical development of this reality.