John Hilliard


John Hilliard’s Cause of Death (1974) is a work which consists of four images taken from the same negative, of a human body with a sheet covering it with four different one word titles suggesting different causes of death. The images have been modified by cropping the positions of the negative and each have there own separate word to give the impression of a different narrative, these words are “Crushed”, “Drowned”, “Burned” and “Fell”.

Cause of Death and a lot of John Hilliard’s work questions the real picture of reality, showing how the photographer has the final say. Although it is believed the camera can’t lie, John Hilliard puts this theory to the question, testing how subjective photography actually is by manipulating the photos to tell different stories.


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