Photographyevades us as it intrigues us to observe a photograph and makes us notice thatlife consists of little touches of solitude. It mechanically repeats what couldnever be repeated existentially. It cannot be transformed or (spoken)philosophically; it is wholly ballasted by the contingency of which it is theweightless, transparent envelope. A specific photograph, in effect is neverdistinguished from its referent, but it requires a secondary action, ofknowledge or of reflection. It is unclassifiable because there is no reason tomark this or that of its occurrences. It always carries its referent withitself, both affected by the same amorous or funereal mobility and at the veryheart of the moving world, they are glued together.
Photographyis motionless and frozen, it has the cryogenic power to preserve objectsthrough time without decay and photographs appear as devices for stopping timeand preserving fragments of the past, like flies in amber. Bartheson the encounter with the photograph of Lewis Payne says” I observe with horroran anterior future of which death is the stake. By giving me the absolute pastof the pose, the photograph tells me death in the future.” In this text hetalks of the studium and the punctum.
The studium is subjective and talks aboutthe cultural interest of the picture as a whole, whereas the punctum is thesubjective detail that is reliant on the individual. It is visceral. Where thestudium is that the photograph is handsome and so is the boy, the punctum isthat he is going to die and that his time is coming to an end.
The person isalive only in the picture (studium) but in the real context (punctum) he isdead. The photograph creates a mystery as the person is both alive (in the picture)and dead (in realism) at the same time. It is a catastrophe which has alreadyoccurred, and whether or not the subject is already dead and that everyphotograph is this catastrophe. Thephotograph can be the object of three practices or of three emotions orintentions where it is: to do, to undergo, to look. In this case the operatoris the photographer where he captures that moment, the spectator is ourselvesas we glance through it, and lastly the person or thing photographed is thetarget, the referent. The moment captured in the image is of near-zero durationand located in an ever receding ‘then’. At the same time, the spectators ‘now’the moment of looking at the image, has no fixed duration.
It can be extended aslong as fascination lasts and endlessly reiterated as long as curiosityreturns. The relationship of photography to time is more complex than isusually allowed. Its is impossible to extract the concept of time from thegrasp of the narrative. The time of photographs themselves is one of stasis asthey endure. There is a fit between the photographic image which signifies astate where we sense something paradoxical about the photograph that signifiesan event, like a frozen tongue of fire.The significanceof a photograph is seen as a state, a process or an event. It is stable, unchanging,or if it is a changing dynamic situation, it is seen from outside as conceptuallycomplete, or from inside as ongoing.
The fact that images may themselves appearas punctual, virtually without duration, does not mean that the situations theyrepresent lack any quality of duration or other qualities related to time.Differentgenres of photography imply different perspectives within durative situationsand sequences of situations. “Still photographs cannot be seen as narratives inthemselves, but as elements of narratives.” I sense that every photograph cannarrate its and that relies on the perspective of the observer as everyspectator will pursue it differently. The photograph of Lewis Payne provoked meto observe it and made me look at it from a different perspective, not justthat of a spectator but one that of an operator. I envision myself living thatmoment and capturing that instant which will become a memory and feel that meas an operator, would want to capture the emotions (horror or pain) of mytarget (the referent) and evaluate them, as now (present) when I perceive it,the photograph speaks of death.There lingersa sense of uncanny.
As I try to observe the photograph through the eyes of anoperator, I imagine myself living the moment when it was clicked, theatmosphere around me changes and I see myself present in that very second, withLewis Payne sitting right there in front of me, staring into the lens as I tryto seize that instant and record it as a memory. For an instance, as anoperator, I envision myself visiting that place now, in the present; horror andfear strikes me as I look at the photograph whilst being at the place where itwas taken, a sense of uneasiness runs through. As I hold the picture of whatwas once captured live there is no longer in being, but exists just as a memory,for death is the anterior future and time is the punctum. It is undoubtedly related to what isfrightening, to what arouses dread and horror equally and is clearly definableas it coincides with what excites fear in general and people vary so verygreatly in their sensitivity to this quality of feeling.
The senseof death, fear, pain, horror and that the time is coming to an end has to beadded to every unfamiliar novel to make it uncanny, as it can be seen in thisone. Either we can find out what meaning has come to be attached to the picturein the course of its history or we can collect all the properties of persons, things,sense – impressions, experiences andsituations which arouse in us the feeling of uncanniness, and then infer theunknown nature of the picture from what this have in common with uncanny. I feelboth lead to the same path, where uncanny is that class of the frightening andthe picture is what leads back to what is known of old and familiar but longgone; but yet it is alive. In the production of the feeling of uncanniness tointellectual uncertainty the essential factor is ascribed, so as it was, the uncannywould always be something about one who does not know his way about in. Thebetter orientated in his environment a person is, the less readily will he getthe impression of something uncanny in regard to the objects and events in it.
Thecircumstances and objects call forth the feelings of distress and repulsion. Speakingof time as a punctum, more or less blurred beneath the abundance and disparity ofcontemporary photographs, is vividly legible in historical photographs, thatthere is always a defeat of time in them. At the limit, there is no need torepresent a body in order to experience this vertigo of time defeated as theaesthetic discussion of photography is dominated by the concept of time