Only Once



What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially.”

               –     Barthes Camera Lucida 4


Photo by: mere poppins

A seed blossoms into a flower only once. It flourishes while alive and withers away to nothingness once its time is up. Of course the following season, a flower that resembles it will blossom. However, this flower is different from the previous. This flower is a new flower, its identity is different from the older one. It can be compared to us people, with life and death occurring every day. Yet none of those who are born are those that have passed away. Each of us holds a separate identity, unique to only ourselves. A photograph can capture our essence, repeating as many times as it is reprinted. A flower that is captured blooming can bloom thousands of times in a reproduced photograph, but has only blossomed once in actuality. For Antonino Paraggi in “The Adventures of a Photographer” by Italo Calvino, he finds himself taking pictures of Bice in every manner possible. When she leaves him, he also takes pictures of her absence. He starts taking pictures of everything possible, from an unmade bed to other photographs. In the end, he ends up ripping these photographs. A possible speculation is that he rips it because feels that they have lost meaning. As he said himself, ” Photography has a meaning only if it exhausts all possible images.” Of course he took it a bit too far, but nonetheless has he proven his point. With his pictures of Bice that has lost their meanings, he decided to rip them and move on.


One Response to “Only Once”

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