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Old 11-15-2004, 12:57 PM
Galeota Galeota is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,268
Default Re: Is it just an illusion? II

Supposing there is no universal reality, but multiple realities that take form in specific languages around the world (sustaining the fact that each language represents a specific slice of the “cake”, and therefore every translation is incomplete and untrustworthy, and Esperanto a perfect nonsense…). Could a photograph be a language in itself? Does it carry a meaning? Does it speak the truth? Does it reveal something that can’t be seen in the frame, and if so is that something the same thing for each one of the viewers?

I once read the following sentence (sorry, couldn’t state the exact reference anymore) : “There is no such thing as history. There are only historians.” Photography was for a long time a kind of reference to which truth was measured, a proof or an evidence of “what was”, and that was particularly evident with war photography in those times when censorship was still incapable of controlling ALL the images coming out of the battlefields (I guess almost everything is filtered nowadays). But in most cases photographs are as fictional as painting or any other art expression capable of modelling the world and putting it into shape according to the photographer’s point of view. We’re getting far from reality because this means that even photographic evidence can be altered to propose alternative truths.

Every image has someone shaping it. What did the photographer want to show? Why did he choose a specific angle? Which story did he want to tell? Isn’t this completely subjective? And if the answer is that a photograph isn’t an accurate representation of reality, does it mean it is a lie? Or just a “flat”, and therefore incomplete, reproduction of a 3 dimensional world?

But perhaps we’re getting more and more distanced of the main issue. And what if the power of a photograph came from the fact that its testimony bears not on the object but on time? What if it was more a statement that something “Was”, rather than a representation of a subject?

So many questions, so little time…
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