Archive for the ‘Roland Barthes’ Category

Belting, Hans. ‘The Transparency of the Medium’ An Anthropology of Images trans. by Thomas Dunlop (Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011) 144-168 p.144 The photographic image is usually understood as either an object trouvé. a thing that the camera find in the world, or else as the product of a camera. In other words, a photograph is […]

Crowther, Paul. ‘The Phenomenology of Photography’ Phenomenology of the Visual Arts (even the frame) (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009) 139-142 p.139 [cites Bourdieu] Bourdieu’s point here is that photography is more than common visual communication, but it, nevertheless, so useful in terms of its mundane social documentary functions that these functions always subvert attempts to […]

Elkins, James. ‘Selenite, Ice, Salt’ What Photography Is (Oxon: Routledge, 2011) 15-44   p.17 [On a photograph Elkins finds of a selenite window] Seen through the window, the world would look like ill-fitted pieces of mosaic crushed together, pressed and refracted by the translucent material into a nearly indecipherable pattern. The window’s inclusions, its grit and spalling […]



Elkins, James. ‘Writing’ What Photography Is (Oxon: Routledge, 2011) 1-14  p.5 No, what bothers me, at least at first, is that the uncomfortable intimacy of the voice, and its discomfiting affections, are supported by a certainty I cannot understand: a certainty, almost a conviction, that the author’s frame of mind is not an impediment to […]

The brilliant James Elkins posts his lecture slides on his website. Here’s what looks like his notes prior to What Photography Is, a book I’m waiting anxiously to come into my University library. There’s lots more writing and notes and ideas to be had on his website:

Price, Mary. ‘Proust, Lowell, Barthes, Musil’ The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 150-172 p.150 Benjamin’s touchstone is Proust, the first great imaginative writer to make extensive use of the wonder and the magic of photography. pp.151-157 [discussion and analysis of Proust’s grandmother’s transformation] p.154 Proust’s metaphor suggests that the photograph […]

Price, Mary. The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 1-21 p.1 This is a book with two major emphases. The first is that the language of description is deeply implicated in how a viewer looks at photographs. Description may be title, caption, or text. The more detailed the description, the more […]

Prosser, Jay. “Buddha Barthes: What Barthes Saw in Photography ( That He Didn’t in Literature)” pp.91-103 in Photography Degree Zero ed. by Geoffrey Batchen (London: The MIT Press, 2009) p.91 Roland Barthes’s last book is on photography and it is about the limit of words. Beginning with the dropped out words of one Buddhist lama recalled […]

Cadava, Eduardo., Cortés-Rocca, Paola. ‘Notes on Love and Photography’ Photography Degree Zero ed. by Geoffrey Batchen. (London; Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2009) 105-139 p.11o Undoing every contemplative act that would presume a difference between “itself” and the image on which it focuses, Camera Lucida puts the category of an observer – as the neutral […]

p.3 Barthes ‘wanted to learn at all costs what Photography was “in itself,” by what essential feature it was to be distinguished from the community of images. p.4 What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially. p.5 The Photograph is never anything but […]