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

 When we look at a photograph of ourselves or of others, we are really looking at the return of the dead. 
 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... 
 The photographic referent [is] not the optionally real thing to which an image or a sign refers but the necessarily real thing which has been placed before the lens, without which there would be no photograph. 
 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. 
 In an initial period, photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs. 
 Not only is the Photograph never, in essence, a memory... but it actually blocks memory, quickly becomes a counter-memory. 
 As Spectator I wanted to explore photography not as a question (a theme) but as a wound. 
 How does meaning get into the image? Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond? 
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