Photography is about Memories and Death

“To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.” Diane Arbus

[Roland] Barthes explained that a picture is not so much a solid representation of “what is” as “what was” and therefore “what has ceased to be.” It does not make reality solid but serves as a reminder of the world’s inconstant and ever changing state.” Anonymous

The history of photography has long left behind the notion of the photograph as historical document, and through aesthetic appreciation it has come to be a theoretical object, no longer perceived merely as a stand-alone simulacrum, eventually attaining a status of its own. This ontological evolution took almost a century and we now recognize the capacity of the photographic image to stir emotions and evoke wonder. Roland Barthes (Barthes, 1981, 2000) affirmed that photographs do radiate a certain kind of ‘aura.’ The aura of the lost in me and of lost memories act in much the same way that Proust’s textual reminiscences of the Madeleine pastry and the potency of its smell served to evoke buried memory. Barthes distinguishes the “punctum” as that accident of photographic detail that pricked him, bruised him and was so poignant to him that it evoked an almost transcendental experience, conjuring up poignant lost memories of his mother. The historical process of the photographic image emerged from window to artefact, much as video has migrated from documentation tool to art form.” Susan Hazen, The Israel Museum

I am still not over the wonder of this. I photograph almost every day, on film, and I still am fascinated by the ability of film to permanently record the fleeting qualities of light; or people who will be dead in some years; or a flower that will be gone tomorrow. Photography is about death, as Sontag and Barthes both noted. And it’s also about memory. Even the most casual snapshot can be precious in fifty years, whether it has a caption or not.” John Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972.




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My Dots for Tuesday, September 11, 2007

“The Doomed Hazards of Mayor Giuliani’s 9/11 Deranged Defense Plans.” Detailed explanations of Giuliani’s senseless failure to create effective 9/11 defense strategies are provided, which resulted in the thousands of lives that this cost on September 11, 2001.

A haunting photograph and an informative video are included.

[tags: blogs, Mayor Giulani, politics, Iraq, terrorists, war]

See the rest of my Dots at Blue Dot

Posted in Blogs. Comments Off on My Dots for Tuesday, September 11, 2007
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