The Contradictory Nature Of Photography

- - Blog News

The wrapped bodies of two dead people hang from an overpass as three more dead bodies lie on the ground in Saltillo, Mexico, March 8, 2013. Reuters.

For me, pictures like this are so troubling because they ask core questions about the contradictory nature of photography. On the one hand, the photo is a tremendously disturbing representation of evil and chaos. On the other, it is such a perfect and unique example of this evil that it transcends the constant, predictable, numbing pictorial representations of equal or greater violence that usually just slip away unseen. These are such troubling thoughts to think. Ten years ago, I would have felt some of the violence before I could acknowledge my respect for the photograph. Now I feel them both simultaneously. Perhaps that’s the great achievement of the photograph. But what do I know anymore? I guess I’m in too deep.

—Peter van Agtmael

via 2013 in Photojournalism : The New Yorker.

Comments are closed.