CHAPTER 3 - VISUAL EDUCATION OR IGNORANCE
A photograph in order to transcend must be able to trigger the imagination of both the educated and the ignorant viewer. The unknown has undoubtely more power in installing ignorance, essential to "reanimate" a conventional documentary image and confer an enigmatic reality.
At the other end of the visual communication there is the photographer trying to cultivate a visual literacy. A noble task, surely, but not without taking into account that our aesthetic values and feelings are there by intuition and a natural talent will always be able to detect a meaningful image. Wouldn't it be that the less the exposure to theory, the more the chances for an original expression to emerge?
Having said that, and if, albeit the warnings, you embark in a long educational "trip", don't trust KODAK's -you press the button, we do the rest-, don't adopt Buster Keaton's monkey cameraman, don't browse techno-magazines. Read Calvino instead, to help you build your own Rome around you, over and over again.
Change its alleys, transform its fountains, burn its skies, but never exchange your Rome for another city. If however, by force majeur, this is ever needed, then let it be Paris.
Author's note: Paris and Rome are by no means the real cities but the invisible space around us created through tales, narrations and libretti. They are mentioned here as a tribute to Calvino's Invisible Cities and to Baudelaire's flâneur.
To be cont'd
NB: The pictures featuring here won't be in the book. I only wish I could have been the author. Instead, they reflect quite well my thoughts and this makes them extraordinary in my eyes. I am grateful to all those who give me the opportunity to see also through theirs.
Michail Moscholios - Photo by Paul Raymond Paule