Writing vs. Photography Essay

430 WordsJan 4, 20142 Pages
It can be contested that whilst photography is often seemingly objective, a representation of ‘life’, however we can see that photographs are not as unbiased in fact they are often a depiction of what the photographer wants you to see. Roland Barthes had attempted to show how a photographic image could represent implied meanings. But he still considered the photograph to have a unique potential for presenting a completely real representation of the world. In Camera Lucida Barthes presents two parallel ideas the ‘Stadium’ which explores the relationship between …. And also that which is depends on the individual, which ‘pierces the viewer’ he called the ‘punctum’. Barthes explained that a picture creates a falseness in the illusion of ‘what is’, where ‘what was’ would be a more accurate description. ‘Photography has come to play an increasingly self-conscious role in life narratives, raising questions about truth, fictionality, authenticity and the limits of referentiality.’[1] The tension between visual and the verbal self-representation is evident in George Szirtes’s poem Paragons. Diane Arbus has created what seems like a collection of uncanny photographs, according to Szirtes: ‘The characters are all from Arbus's own experiences. She was a frequenter of freak shows at a place called Hubert's or Huber's.’[2] The main tension arises due to the fact that writing and text alters subject to the reader, on the other hand a photo image is a moment captured so all inference come from the picture and the viewer’s relation to said photograph. In the photograph of Chang and Eng Bunker, Diane Arbus displays a picture of what seem like two happy ‘Siamese’ however in George Szirtes’s interpretation he indicates that ‘Distrust everything-especially the happy face,//the successful face…’ this is a clear link to Barthes notion of ‘punctum’ as the poet has, albeit unknowingly,

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