The Photographic Event

Related Exhibition About Time

September 23-24, 2016
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When we think of photography as an event, it is most likely the moment of capture, that fraction of a second in which an image is formed, that comes to mind. Yet photographs and photography are shaped by time in a myriad of complex ways: we not only take photographs, we share them; we keep and even discard them. The time of circulation and the time of deterioration are also photographic events. Photographs point both backward and forward in time, depicting things that may no longer exist for a future audience. Their subjects are thus simultaneously present and absent. Roland Barthes famously described this condition as a “temporal hallucination,” deeming the photograph “a mad image, chafed by reality.”

Header image: Matthew Buckingham, Image of Absalon To Be Projected Until It Vanishes, 2001; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art Fund purchase; © Matthew Buckingham