Unreal Nature

October 26, 2016

Denial and Concealment

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:53 am

… The recovery of direct experience can start only from an awareness that destruction has occurred.

This is from the essay ‘Kodachrome – Introduction’ [1978] found in The Complete Essays 1973-1991 by Luigi Ghirri (2016). The ‘Kodachrome‘ referenced is the title of one of Ghirri’s books:

… The daily encounter with reality, the fictions, the surrogates, the ambiguous poetics, or alienating aspects, all seem to preclude any way out of the labyrinth, the walls of which are ever more illusory … to the point at which we might merge with them.

ghirri_modena1973
Luigi Ghirri, Modena, 1973

Next is from ‘Photographs from my Early Years 1970’:

… I have never been interested in what is commonly referred to as style. Style is a coded reading, and I believe photography to be a codeless language, and rather than a kind or restriction, it is a broadening and expansion of communication.

Photographic ‘style’ is inherent in the very choice of photography as a language, and its way of seeing the world is inevitably limited by horizontal and vertical lines, i.e. what is caught within the frame. In this sense, photography always implies subtraction, or a sense of something missing, something outside the frame.

And third, from ‘Kodachrome 1970-1978′:

… My focus on the destruction of direct experience — the invasion of images into our environments — begins here. In the work, I wanted to offer an analysis of truth and falsehood, of the gap between what we are, and the image of what we’re supposed to be — and ultimately to think critically about the denial and concealment of truth.

… The recovery of direct experience can start only from an awareness that destruction has occurred. Perhaps it’s for this reason that many people, when writing about photography, say that it always shows what we already know — that which is common knowledge. I think this assertion should be corrected to say instead: photography always shows what we already think we know.

… Many (and not only in relation to this work) have mistaken these photographs for photomontages; instead I would be more inclined to call them ‘photodismontages,’ for they pay homage to that colossal photomontage that already exists — the physical world itself.

Photography is in any case always surreal in its changes of scale and its constant juxtapositions, and in comprising both the conscious (?) and unconscious (?) images of a reality no longer present. Reality is being transformed into a colossal photograph, and the photomontage already exists: it’s called the real world.

-Julie

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