Notes on Photography

However much an individual loves himself/herself or considers himself/herself to be unique, he/she is a social and historical cliche, substitutible by any other person like a variable as in wars, beyond their family and a few good friends. It is just a matter of time and people die one after another and their photographs remain (for a while) to become the photographs of dead people. They become cliched among the innumerable dead who are survived by their photographs among strangers. Susan Sontag (1973) put it very eloquently:

Aesthetic distance seems built into the very experience of looking at photographs, if not right away, then certainly with the passage of time. Time eventually positions most photographs, even the most amateurish, at the level of art (16).

I would go to the extent of saying that the art objects the photographs become end up being anthropological specimens like bones, clay tablets, pottery items of prehistoric and early civilizations are to us today.


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