Hana Čeferin

Hana Čeferin (1995) is an MA student of art history. She graduated from art history and English language at the University in Ljubljana in 2018. Since 2015, she is collaborating with the Fotografija Gallery in Ljubljana which led her to focus her research on photography, contemporary art, and new media. During her tenure, she has been collaborating with numerous photographers and contributed papers for various expositions and catalogues. She has also published articles in compendiums and magazines (Klio, Kamniški zbornik, the Bauhaus-Baumensch monography, etc.). In her work, she explores the medium of photography in diverse periods and movements through history, while she is particularly interested in experimental photography.

In the Victorian age new technical props became humanised, transformed into anthropomorphized characters of fairy tales – the camera monk, the telescope giant, the microscope servant, magical assistants helping the wizard main character to reveal the secrets of the universe.

In contemporary horror, the photographic image is often used as the object of horror or even represents the main antagonist of the story. We can trace the origin of such depictions to the very invention of the technique of photography in the 19th century, which was also the heyday of spiritualist theories about photography making the soul of the deceased visible to the human eye using chemical compounds. A notorious example is the case of photographer William Mumler who offered well-off relatives of recently deceased people in the States to make portraits with the ghosts of their loved ones. There are also reports of some peoples that allegedly also consider the soul to be closely bound to photography and in consequence abhor photography, as the film is supposedly capable of capturing and depriving the photographed person of their soul. Films like The Ring, The Others, Peeping Tom, and The Invisible Man demonstrate how frequently uncanny photography appears in the horror film genre and open questions about the reasons of such depictions. While the theory of horror claims that horror uses specific iconography of fear to reflect the common fears of the time (e.g. an invasion of giant insects and carnivorous plants in the 50s as a consequence of American fear of a communist invasion), the article explores the issue of photography as the main antagonist in the horror genre of the 21st century and whether this means that it appears as the universal fear of digital identity, surveillance, and identity theft.

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