Pseudo-Reality Representation of Agan Harahap's Photography Work

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Satrio Hari Wicaksono



Photography is a medium that is quite close to our daily lives and has even become part of the lifestyle; almost all intelligent devices now have it. The easier it is for virtual access to be obtained through instruments, the more people are flooded with text and images with a variety of content. The community's preparedness to sort out information and maturity in tracing cyberspace is undoubtedly needed to minimize communication or misinformation. Still, what happens in society, there are a lot of information defections that are used as a medium for herding opinions that provoke negative responses on a massive scale. This sparked Agan Harahap's desire to educate the public through his artworks. The focus and purpose of this study are to examine how Harahap constructed visual language to construct pseudo-reality. This research will be studied qualitatively with a semiotics method approach. Harahap, who is known as an artist who uses the medium of photography as his language, often carries out the process of editing photos to provide a representation of a 'new reality' in his work, a picture that transcends reality. Good art can ignite the debate from the discourse raised in position to give awareness. Departing from an issue that is being hotly discussed in the community, Harahap responded by constructing visuals and lessons of work that seemed to corroborate the conjectures of the community. The depiction is visualized in a satirical and humorous manner but full of symbolic constructions that build a narrative of a new reality that seems to lead public opinion on the issues being hotly discussed. A group of people who only see and read the text of the upload without confirming and correcting it from existing sources will respond aggressively.

Keywords: Agan Harahap, pseudo-reality, photography, digital imaging, semiotic


Full Text




Barthes, Roland. (1977). Elements of Semiology. England: Hill and Wang.

Liu, Chen. (2022). Imag(in)ing place: Reframing photography practices and effective social media platforms. Jurnal Geoforum, Volume 129, p.172-180.

Perkasa, Mandira Citra & Guntur. (2019). Kajian Semiotika Terhadap Karya Manipulasi Foto Agan Harahap. [Prosiding]. Seminar Internasional Riksa Bahasa XIII, p.573-580.

Purnomo, Aji S. A. (2018). Fotografi di Era Media Sosial: Studi “Toko Memorabilia” Karya Agan Harahap. Jurnal Bahasa Rupa, Vol.1 No.2 April 2018, p.81-88.

Salojärvi, Virpi. (2022). Faceless government: civic action in media photographs during the Venezuelan anti-governmental protests of 2017. Journal Visual Communication, Volume 21, Issue 1, p. 53-72.

Sumartono. (2017). Metodologi Penelitian Kualitatif Seni Rupa & Desain. Jakarta: Pusat Studi Reka Rancang Visual dan Lingkungan, Fakultas Seni Rupa dan Desain Universitas Trisakti.

Sunardi, ST. (2020). Semiotika Negativa. Yogyakarta: Penerbit Buku Baik.

Susanto, Andreas A. (2017). Fotografi adalah Seni: Sanggahan terhadap Analisis Roger Scruton Mengenai Keabsahan Nilai seni dari Sebuah Foto. Journal of Urban Society’s Arts, Volume 4 Nomor 1. Yogyakarta.

Zaelani, Rizki A. (ed.). (2018). Relasi dan Ekspansi Medium Seni Rupa. Bandung: Program Studi Seni Rupa, Fakultas Seni Rupa & Desain, Institut Teknologi Bandung.