03 July 2006

The Wisdom of Roland Barthes

One day, quite some time ago, I happened on a photograph of Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jerome, taken in 1852. And I realized then, with amazement I have not been able to lessen since: “I am looking at eyes that looked at the Emperor.”
Camera Lucida, 3.

Photography is cool. It always has been. At about this time, 1o years ago, I decided it was time to quit wasting semesters, so I signed up for the classes that would have led me to a degree in photography. It wasn't meant to be, but I still think that art and anything remotely connected to it is more interesting than anything else. Though I'm definitely in the life-long-commitment-to-art camp now, I marvel at how I got here. The experiences I had in those classes nearly a decade ago were so formative that they are still fresh in my mind, and I hope they always will be.

. . . the realists do not take the photograph for a "copy" of reality, but for an emanation of past reality: a magic, not an art.
Camera Lucida, 88.

I think my love of photography comes from being in love with seeing. If I had to choose a sense (only one) to keep, it would be my sight. It has always been that way, even before I signed my life away to the visual arts. Maybe that's why I was never much more than a mediocre musician, and remain to this day insensitive to culinary fineries. Unlike my sisters and mother-in-law, I care more for color/pattern than texture when I buy clothes. Looking simply is a joy, and one that I perhaps too much privilege.

1 comment:

Dad said...

I think my sense to have if I only had one would be touch, hince my profession of physical therapy and your preference for the visual arts.