[ theory ]
The Gesture of Photography
The purpose of The Gesture of Photography is to show how necessary is the understanding of the act of photographing for the photography, its reading and decoding. While describing the act of photographing Flusser uses the hunting metaphor. Similar like the hunter, the photographer hunts its prey and while doing this, the role of the photographic camera (apparatus) is greater than it first appears. The photographer is in a certain way tied to and caught into the categories of the photographic time-space in which he is permitted to operate by the photographic apparatus or the program that propels it. The only freedom the photographer has is to try to create photographs from his technical task, photographs that are as new as possible, different, incredible or challenging. Namely, the imagination of the apparatus is substantially larger than the imagination of a man, thus the photographer can browse its content, as described by Flusser, with jumping, shifting search from one motif to another, for photographs that are something special.
In the course of this search it is important how well the photographer is trained to control the apparatus and to manage the program or even do the programming. The more he is trained, the easier he finds new photographs, states of things never seen before. Thus derived photographs are interesting: on the one hand, according to Flusser they represent the only possible reality, since neither the world from which he draws, nor the program telling him what to create are not real for the photographer (they both represent merely something that can be, only the photograph is the actual realization of this possibility), on the other hand such photographs are also the result of a certain anti-ideological effort (namely, if the ideology strives for a single viewpoint, than the photographer with his search of new angles acts against the ideology, despite he himself might think the opposite). Photographer is still bound to the program, but within it he has, as said, some free space. First when searching for the new photographs and later when selecting the photographs he wants to expose. While doing this, montage-like work, the photographer is still dependant on the idea behind the apparatus. All there is, is crushed, atomized and mathematized with the help of the apparatus. The photographer also breaks his entire opus while performing the selection and puts together a new whole from the scraps. He is free in deciding which pieces to use, what kind of totality he tries to create and what gesture he chooses for his photographs.
Because of the authorship restrictions entire article is only available in printed edition of Fotografija magazine.
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