Henri Cartier-Bresson • MoMA

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

“To put it differently, the act of seeing (the gaze) does not strictly entail apprehending and comprehending outside forms and images through the power of our eyes alone. It implies, instead, a personal encounter with a face that is itself the image, in that it contains the source or origin of light. It is through this very encounter that the other appears to us as a unique being and becomes an apparition . . .

This is the main challenge of photography: how to turn what appears into what is, into a true being. In Barthes’ perspective, this process of transfiguration is not fully accomplished: the apparition leads instead to the expression of an ‘it has been’ (‘ça a été’). The presence of the other is thus located in a time that is neither a present nor a buried past. This past is still a vivid reality because photography actualizes it in its own physical identity.” Pierre Taminiaux, The Paradox of Photography