In the 30’s photography met one of the most important moments in its history. It was then that there were, in Europe and America, the large weekly pictorial magazines giving the photograph the major areas of the pages. The most important message, however, of this use of the photograph, was the promise that it would be an innovatory means of communication which would overcome national boundaries and social distinctions. It was the promise of a common language which all could use and understand regardless of their nationality of educational level. It was a promise that the photographic lens would record and print events so that all should be aware of them. For some years the photographers themselves believed that they served these democratic needs which would give everyone the right to be informed, until the time they saw their photographs appear in magazines piecemeal and with titles that distorted the realities of the photograph. Then they understood that there is no truth but that of the ideology of those who employ them. Then followed difficult years. The television was more effective, manipulating events more easily and disseminating information more rapidly. The information of the public became a spectacle.

The photograph became an outsider and as a consumer product it had to attack and to overcome this crisis. So the photograph became shocking, pornographic etc. If photographs were living organisms today, they would live in deep schizophrenia. They could live their complete emptiness, their total stupidity. Used simplistically and with ease and managed by the reality they represent, they would deny their bodies. So, to perform the final act of self-ridicule, they would be transformed into pictures of reality, of real persons and ridiculous documents. They would be larger than life and they would confuse their titles. They would don their frames and be exhibited on the walls of galleries. All these things would happen if photographs were living organisms with rational minds.

Costis Antoniadis

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