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Father Time, Speed, and the Temporality of Posters Around 1900

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The essay proposes that advertising posters around 1900 construct a popular-culture iconography of a modern temporality associated with new technologies. In addition, it proposes, posters themselves embody a new temporality as a medium. The essay analyses how posters portray time by focusing on several images, some of which depict an updated allegorical figure of Father Time in order to advertise a racing automobile or precision watch.The essay also addresses the temporality of posters as a medium by investigating their conditions of viewing and the role of their advertising function. The discussion of the media specificity of posters, their cultural context, and a detailed analysis of their imagery, concludes that posters both elicit a certain kind of temporal viewing and portray a conflictual transition between old and new temporalities.


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