We take a photograph. Or maybe we are still deciding on whether we ought to take the photograph. The subject or event we are in want of photographing, we photograph, or ideate about whether to photograph, because the subject or event we are in want of photographing impinges upon consciousness (sometimes without us paying much attention to this) as a memory of. And the subject or event we photograph, or ideate about photographing, we photograph, or ideate about photographing, in order that we retain the subject or event in memory, or because we foresee that we would like to retain the subject or event in memory. The printed photograph (virtually, on paper, or simply as a missed or rejected opportunity in mind) then becomes a memory, and a memory of a memory. And foreseeing that moment in time, while taking the photograph, or while ideating about taking the photograph, when we will have eventually looked at, or when we would have eventually looked at, the printed photograph (virtually, on paper, or simply as a missed or rejected opportunity in mind) is already a phenomenon wrought as a memory, and as a memory of a memory, and as a memory of a memory of a memory. The photograph (virtually, on paper, or simply as a missed or rejected opportunity in mind) is then simply memory made tangible. Photography defeats Time. Memory remembers the truth. The past is one of the many possibilities of the future. Being, in being, unfolds. Being unfolds as Time. Time is time for the Other. Photography defeats distance.
Subjective Knowledge: that which proceeds from the Subject
Objective Knowledge: that which proceeds from the Subject as Other
Within the domain of the Same, language and memory are indistinguishable from each other; within the Same, the world is literally recreated from scratch through the analogue-digital interface we call language; then, as any narrative is possible with language, any memory is plausible because of language. Memory reaching to the truth, or, more simply, to that which was, is through this simple characteristic inherent to its nature made distinguishable from its closest kin, the fictitious narrative. The Word and the Image are born together but it is the Image which dominates the Word. The truth then is ‘the photographic’, the ‘it is what it is’. It is the I that sees.
Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly! (SHAKESPEARE, no date, 3.7:101)
The word ‘zero’ (and its kin – think of the words ‘nil’, ‘nothing’, etc.) is the only word bereft of imagery, and this for a very specific reason. Then, we can truly say, maybe in a slightly apologetic tone, that everything is born from nothing. Memory seeks genesis and at every one of its iterations ‘the photographic’ stops it in its tracks. After all, the Other is always the Same.
Love, and be silentSHAKESPEARE, no date, 1.1:68
The exalted gharāniq: Manāt [left], Allāt [middle] and al-‘Uzzā [right] (from personal project Dirty Paradise: in search of a lost photograph). Photographed between March and April 2019 at Paola, Malta, and edited into a triptych October 2021 at Fundão, Portugal. Photographs and edit by the author.
SHAKESPEARE, William. (no date). The Tragedy of King Lear. Edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. USA: Folger Shakespeare Library. Available at: https://shakespeare.folger.edu/downloads/pdf/king-lear_PDF_FolgerShakespeare.pdf [accessed 16 October 2021].