Cadava, Eduardo. ‘Heliotropism’ Words of Light: Theses on the Photography of History (Chichester: Princeton University Press, 1997) p.5


There has never been a time with the photograph, without the residue and writing of light.

If in the beginning we find the Word, this Word has always been a word of light, the ‘let there be light’ without which there would be no history.

In Villier’s de l’Isle-Adam’s Tomorrow’s Eve, God gives Adam the gift of history by giving him photogaphy. The first days of creation being to light a universe of photons whose transmission within time requires the photographic fix.

In the ancient correspondence between photography and philosophy, the photograph, relayed by the trope of light, becomes a figure of knowledge as well as of nature, a solar language of cognition that gives the mind and the senses access to the invisible.

[Heliotropism is the diurnal motion of plant parts (flowers or leaves) in response to the direction of the sun]


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