Roland Barthes
[Writer, critic, and theorist, b. 1915, Cherbourg, d. 1980, Paris.]

 The Photograph is violent: not because it shows violent things, but because on each occasion it fills the sight by force, and because in it nothing can be refused or transformed. 
 I passed beyond the unreality of the thing represented, I entered crazily into the spectacle, into the image, taking into my arms what is dead, what is going to die... 
 Pornography ordinarily represents the sex-organ, it makes it into an immobile object (a fetish), to which we burn incense, like a god that doesn’t leave its niche. 
 How does meaning get into the image? Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond? 
 When we look at a photograph of ourselves or of others, we are really looking at the return of the dead. 
 Not only is the Photograph never, in essence, a memory... but it actually blocks memory, quickly becomes a counter-memory. 
 In an initial period, photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs. 
 The photographer, like an acrobat, must defy the laws of probability or even of possibility; at the limit, he must defy those of the interesting: the photograph becomes surprising when we do not know why it has been taken. 
quotes 1-8 of 61
page 1 of 8 next page last page
display quotes