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

 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. 
 When we look at a photograph of ourselves or of others, we are really looking at the return of the dead. 
 A photograph is always invisible, it is not it that we see. 
 As Spectator I wanted to explore photography not as a question (a theme) but as a wound. 
 Formerly, the image illustrated the text (made it clearer); today, the text loads the image, burdening it with a culture, a moral, an imagination. 
 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. 
 In an initial period, photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs. 
 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. 
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