Thursday, April 04, 2019

Photos of ghosts

Modern art from recent history. Ghosts on print, Polaroid spirits. History: that thing we create every day but only recognize when other people tell us about their version of it. What they saw, felt, maybe even did and we nod and play along. It sounds kinda familiar so it must be right. Some people even take photographs, this creates history immediately but in order to become "proper" history those photographs need to be published or exhibited. Black and white renditions are most effective here, they evoke the past in all it's veiled mystery. This usually happens when the photographer is conveniently dead. This blurs any proper meaning and allows others to decide what might have been going on and what the picture is actually about. Ultimately history is about the dislocation of past and present and the dysfunction of memory and meaning so as to create a fictional past that serves the writer's best interests. It's much more convenient this way, also PhDs can be written, papers and diaries, books and documentaries, while the dead sleep a) in death or b) as images in photographs. That's just how it is and none of us will ever know the truth.

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