Camera Lucida – Roland Barthes

I have selected a few quotes which i have found ineresting from Camera Lucida. I have tried to relate them to Instagram and the direction i am taking with my research but i have found this very hard to do. I appreciate the way in which Barthes Talks of the photograph but he is focused on the fixed image. There are certain aspects which do cross over and appeal to me when thinking about the fixed image being defined in reference and in co-existence to the fluid image but i havent gained anything i can directly put into my symposium. It has benefitted me though and has informed the way i shall talk about the fixed image. The Photographic Print.

“What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially.”

”When we define the Photograph as a motionless image, this does not mean only that the figures it represents do not move; it means that they do not (i)emerge(i), do not (i)leave(i): they are anesthetized and fastened down, like butterflies.”

“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 (i)medium(i), 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 (o)shared(i) 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.”

“A paradox: the same century invented History and Photography. But History is a memory fabricated according to positive formulas, a pure intellectual discourse which abolishes mythic Time; and the Photograph is a certain but fugitive testimony; so that everything, today, prepares our race for this impotence: to be no longer able to conceive duration, affectively or symbolically: the age of the Photograph is also the age of revolutions, contestations, assassinations, explosions, in short, of impatiences, of everything which denies ripening.”

”but by shifting this reality to the past (‘this-has-been’), the photograph suggests that it is already dead.”

”Usually the amateur is defines as an immature state of the artist: someone who cannot — or will not — achieve the mastery of a profession. But in the field of photographic practice, it is the amateur, on the contrary, who is the assumption of the professional: for it is he who stands closer to the (i)noeme(i) of Photography.”

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