Words Leaking from Objects: Thinking with Absent Photographs
Ana Luisa Cruz
The evocative nature of photography creates a tension between the viewers' individualistic perspectives and the artist's perceived motive. The notion of photography as the representation of physical objects extends continuously, yet reciprocally into virtual and physical spaces. These representations essentially constitute a landscape of memory through visual language.
Anthropologically, photography is seen as a material means of viewing or experiencing human participation with reality. Undeniably suggestive.
Photography is more than an experience, however. It is relational, situational, subjective, objective & material.
Specifically, the materiality of the visual representation of reality takes two forms. The first, the physical choices employed in the moment when a photograph is captured. The second, the presentational forms that dictate how an audience experiences the photograph.
Photographs are tantamount to the repetition of events in time and space. They are memory, past events that occupy the eternal horizon of the present. The very fabric of reality in a given moment - transformed. The photograph speaks to the catastrophe of times passing, while paradoxically entertaining the notion of eternal life. Therefore the nature of the photograph as discourse claims the present, while dividing time into the present becoming the past and the present becoming the future.
Viewing photographs as material objects encourages a deeper understanding of visual objects within discursive sociological and anthropological practices. This continuous encounter of lived experience indicates photography's nature as a relational element - taking shape from sequences of events continuously impacting contemporary life.
Photographs are discursive in nature, because of their ability to facilitate discussion. This particular variety of discourse, when revisited, can reveal human vulnerability. The vulnerability of individuals, social interaction, social communities & most glaringly - entire societies.
From this knowledge, the photograph as an object becomes a tool with which shifting assemblages of practice, culture, custom & knowledge can be dissected for interrogation. A collective visual discourse with which we can examine the past, present & future.