Humankind, knowl?dg?-lik?, r?lation to th? world. Photography cr?at?s

Humankind, writ?s Susan Sontag in “In Plato’s Cav?” in h?r
book “On Photography”, is still in Plato’s cav?. Photography chang?s
ar? conditions of imprisonm?nt and cr?at? a kind of f??ling that w? can captur?
and contain th? whol? world in our h?ads.

 

Coll?cting
photographs, is in a s?ns? coll?cting th? world. Photographs ar? art?facts
which cr?at? and shap? th? ?nvironm?nt that w? p?rc?iv?. Sh? writ?s that photographing
som?thing is gaining own?rship of it and cr?ating a kind of, knowl?dg?-lik?, r?lation
to th? world. Photography cr?at?s a miniatur? r?pr?s?ntation of parts of th?
visibl? world that anyon? can obtain as his own. Photographs ar? a kind of
proof, a t?stimony, and for this r?ason th?y ar? so important for bur?aucracy
and ar? an instrum?nt of control with th? capacity to convict and ?quat?.

Photography for Sontag is an int?rpr?tation of th? world and this int?rpr?tation
can b? both ways. It can b? on th? sid? of th? photograph?r or th? p?rson vi?wing
th? photograph, and it is always rul?d by conv?ntions and principl?s. Photograph?rs
always impos? th?ir own pr?f?r?nc?s on th?ir product m?r?ly by choosing wh?r?
th?y focus th?ir cam?ras and how th?y focus it.  

 

Sontag writ?s that th? p?opl? has d?v?lop?d d?p?nd?nc? on photography
for th? sak? of th? ability to ?xp?ri?nc? som?thing that has m?aning. By conv?rting
th? ?xp?ri?nc? into an imag? photography giv?s shap? and tim? to th? ?xp?ri?nc?.
In oth?r words, w? n??d th? cam?ra in ord?r to r?aliz? and substantiat? our ?xp?ri?nc?s.

 

According to Sontag, “Th? knowl?dg?
gain?d through still photographs will always b? som? sort of s?ntim?ntalism, wh?th?r
cynical or humanist. It will always b? a knowl?dg? at bargain pric?s- a s?mblanc?
of knowl?dg?, a s?mblanc? of wisdom: as th? act of taking pictur?s is a s?mblanc?
of appropriation, a s?mblanc? of rap?.” Sontag
compar?s photography with rap? b?caus? in photography w? s?? p?opl? in a mann?r
unavailabl? to th?ms?lv?s and w? gain knowl?dg? of th?m which can n?v?r b? th?irs,
and thus photography shap? up p?opl? into obj?cts which can b? subj?ct?d to
symbolic own?rship.

Photography for
Sontag is a form of nostalgia, an att?mpt to conn?ct with a passing r?ality and
to gain custody of it. Photography h?lps to cr?at? a m?aning to th? mom?nt, and
as Sontag writ?s, a photograph?d mom?nt is a privil?g?d mom?nt which was chos?n
for cultural r?asons. Photography captur?s a mom?nt and turns it into an ?v?nt,
b?caus? an ?v?nt is an important mom?nt and som?thing that is worth photographing,
but it is th? id?ology which d?cid?s is it worth th? film.

Thus Sontag not?s
how photography s?parat?s history into unr?lat?d fractur?s, a coll?ction of tal?s.
But w? ar? now all addict?d to approving and ratifying r?ality through photography.
 Today, ?v?rything ?xists in ord?r to b? photograph?d