... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Friday, April 01, 2011

251: Photography is the advent of my... something

Following on from yesterday I’d like to carry on the theme of photography by again dipping into the digital vaults and emerging with some images I am proud of.  Unlike yesterday I will not be sticking to a theme, but I will be giving them individual titles as though they are actual pieces of art.  Only four pictures today, no wait, I mean six.  Soon I will exhaust the best of the digital ones and need to start scanning ye olde filme prinntes.  They’ll be all dusty and it’ll show up, plus my scanner is unbelievably cheap and shitty.  On top of all that I’m not even a good photographer so any decent ones I have captured have been purely dumb luck or the result of flinging enough shit.

Five or More Things Happening, 2007

What is photography?  What is photography?  What is photography?  I don’t know; ask Roland Barthes.  I think it’s like a picture of something, or something.  You know, like a representation in two dimensions of a scene; an appropriation of reality into an unreal yet eminently familiar form, or whatever.  It’s a memory, an aid to memory, or a replacement to memory; it’s your past, present and future, an’ ting.  It’s like, keeping a piece of a place or a, you know, person an’ that, except it’s not, is it.  It’s more like a dead, flat, sterile slice of an approximation of what it aims to represent, ya get me? It’s ah fuckin’ photo’, like, innit.

A Portion of a Lifetime's Supply of Miniature German Books, 2006

What I mean to say is:
  • “What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially.”
  • “Ultimately – or at the limit – in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away, or close your eyes.  ‘The necessary condition for an image is sight,’ Janouch told Kafka; and Kafka smile and replied: ‘We photograph things so we may drive them out of our minds.  My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.’”
  • “When we define the Photograph as a motionless image, this does not mean only that the figures it represents do not move; it means they do not emerge, do not leave: they are anesthetised and fastened down, like butterflies.”
  • "The Photograph is violent: not because it shows violent things, but because on each occasion it fills the sight by force, and because in it nothing can be refused or transformed (that we can sometimes call it mild does not contradict its violence: many say that sugar is mild, but to me sugar is violent, and I call it so)."
Obviously Contrived Image, 2006
  • "The Photograph is an extended, loaded evidence — as if it caricatured not the figure of what it represents (quite the converse) but its very existence ... The Photograph then becomes a bizarre medium, a new form of hallucination: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination, so to speak, a modest shared hallucination (on the one hand 'it is not there,' on the other 'but it has indeed been'): a mad image, chafed by reality."
  • "In an initial period, Photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs. The 'anything whatever' then becomes the sophisticated acme of value." 
  • "I want a History of Looking. For the Photograph is the advent of myself as other: a cunning dissociation of consciousness from identity. Even odder: it was before Photography that men had the most to say about the vision of the double. Heautoscopy was compared with an hallucinosis; for centuries this was a great mythic theme."

Flyover Signs, Osaka, 2007

You see what I’m getting at?  Answers on a postcard to the usual address.  (A future blog will be about the literary crime of using such cliché, such received text, and how I hate myself for doing it.)  For me photography is interesting pictures that give me pleasure to look at for more than a fleeting moment; at least that describes my subjective opinion of good photography.  It is rarely posed pictures, although can be on occasion.  It could be technically accomplished or haphazardly snapped.  It could be ancient and raw or modern and slick.  You get the idea.  It’s a picture wot u like 2 look at.

Funny Foreign-looking Postman Thing, 2006

Some photographers I really like:

Joel-Peter Witkin - Contrived scenes of freaks, weirdos and dead body parts.
Lisette Model - Old fat French people sleeping in chairs.
Nan Goldin - Lo-fi snaps of intimate moments; love, sex and death.
Petter Hegre - Hey what, it's art, and I like it.
Robert Hausser - Mysterious narrative themes.
Miroslav Tichý - Secretive photos of women taken on home-made cameras.

Some Bikes and a Woman, 2007

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