thinking with pictures

mortal? immortal? –the thing about photos that pierces the soul

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After seeing loads of images, both contrived and conceptually designed and those more spontaneous and less self-consciously created, it occurs to me that the ones that hit one’s mortality-awareness buttons are touching on a deep paradox in the photo’s nature; namely, that the frozen moment suggests a “forever young” or other peak moment of (personal, regional or universal) significance even as the truth flows forward and the composed moment scatters like the proverbial ‘dust in the wind’. In other words we hold a moment in permanence, while knowing that all is impermanence. A single snapshot contains both these truths: crystal clear frozen moment AND the forever ebb and flow of lived experience. To read an image to reveal both layers, the frozen and the flowing is to read something very ancient and deep in human experience.


Author: gpwitteveen

Better Outreach is my aim. See to know more.

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