Monday, August 21, 2006

No intrinsic message

Photography is not a language, it's an art or it's a recording tool. Recorded pieces of reality, images-as-documents, have no intrinsic meaning, it's us humans that attribute meaning to things, to events/facts and to recorded images of them. And, as others have said, those meanings that we attribute are subjective, personal, relative to our culture, experiences, mentality, individually accumulated conditioning. A language can be articulated in precise ways to carry specific messages and there are institutions that guard language's coherency for collective use. Think of dictionaries. There's nothing like that about art, nothing like that about raw facts even if recorded as two-dimensional images. In both cases photography creates objects that are empty of intrinsic message or meaning, other than that attributed by the author and/or by the viewer, which diverge most of the times.

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