Photos are about context. When you photograph an artefact, it is presented as an object from the past, an object which only exists with a ‘modern’ interpretation of it being an artefact from the past – in most archaeology it is an object and only this. The photo objectifies the artefact and dislocates it from its context and network of meaning.

If however we are presented with an artefact that is ‘clothed’ and put into a context, the scene around the artefact is seen as only existing in the photo or presentation to illustrate it’s use.  An example is that if the uniform of an English civil war soldier is presented on its own then it is only a collection of artefacts. Whereas if it is ‘clothed’ by being put on a body and put into a ‘world’ , then the scene is said to only illustrate the uniform.

But it is this very putting it into a ‘world’ that stops the uniform being only an artefact. Something happens and the objectification breaks down.

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