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“The Reach” is an iconic photographic gesture seen in many different settings to show many different emotions: adoration, interest, access. It’s always comprised of an identifiable target object and is interesting for our understanding of why hands, microphones, cameras reach for that object — whether it’s Obama’s hand in this one or his autograph here. In this photo, the element of desire is the back of a coroner’s van taking singer Whitney Houston’s body from a Beverley Hills hotel. Interesting object; hands, cameras and microphones reaching; sad commentary on the American cult of celebrity as it comes full circle.
(photo: Mark J. Terrill caption: Media mobs a coroner’s van as it leaves the Beverly Hilton Hotel, early Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday. She was 48.)
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