online fashion photography sale:
My next post will deal more subtly with the world of circulation, commerce, and coins, which will be an offshoot of the ongoing reflections on the literary and artistic design of identity. But please allow me to post this recommendation of a photography sale I found online as a preamble.
Photography is the most philosophic medium. Like the reflection of thought on the invisible dimensions of being, it has the potential to shore up the essence within. Vilem Flusser (http://cmuems.com/excap/readings/flusser-towards-a-philosophy-of-photography.pdf) famously proposed an analogy between writing and photography. He claimed the same revolutionary powers for photography as linear writing. Flusser’s limited, Darwinist interpretation forgets or wilfully erases the history of a vital relationship for the design of the human form. The relationship between the image and the text is the techno-genealogical origin of photography.
The historic relationship begins with Christian art in antiquity. It inherited the perfection of Greco-Roman culture and the passionate humanity and femininity of the textual culture of the Bible. The New Testament established the human interior as a physical topos in the world for the first time in history.
Self-Design Not Selfie
Collecting photography is a unique and poetic way of articulating the private identity. As the world scurries around the world chasing cheap selfies it forgets itself and its beholder. The quick and mindless snapshot of what one believes is the genetically singular shape of a humanist visage is highly artificial. Pre-processed and pre-fabricated by the enormous technological apparatus charged with designing the globe and the heavenly spheres, the selfie is as unique as a piece of lunch meat.
Most selfies have a lifespan of about 10 seconds. Some may get framed and survive a few decades on a dusty shelf. But only few will make it into significant enough frames to pass on to posterity. A carefully designed collection, on the other hand, organised by the fingerprint of one’s private and deeply personal desire, serves to re-educate the senses to perceive what matters to the collector. The market and the bureaucracies are irrelevant to collectors consciously focused on works that reflect their human individuality.
In fashion photography the medium does not reach its fullest potential, because the images are intended as templates for selfies, even before selfies existed.
Fashion addresses itself to the feminine body in its most vulnerable states. Moments of transgression break through the fabric of interiority and offer a peep into forbidden territories.
The world of contemporary fashion emerged after the French Revolution to mop the spillage from entire industries that revolved around the culture of the crown. Fashion and Pop continued to develop at least the technical dimensions of fashioning the personality of the crowned heads of state, which represented the body of the nation.
Unfortunately fashion and pop also removed the religious dimension of their original setting. To restore the passion attending the arts of fashion and pop, the twin industries that continued to articulate what had once been the property of sovereign heads of nations, we only need remember that the structure of articulation is fallen human desire. The individuality emerges as a symptom and an aberration. The arts charged with fashioning the crown were cultivated at the cutting edge between virtue and transgression.
As the quintessential feminine art of transience, fashion requires a more encompassing medium like photography to preserve its timelessness. Commercial fashion photography is a mere prop in this project.
Art photography, like the exemplars I’m recommending, takes the fashion photograph as its object in an act of disruption of the mass context. Each photograph interrupts the continuity of the flawless fashion image, which hides its structure, and offers a peep-show into one’s own interior. Between the edges of the components, model, setting, light, eye, and camera, an invisible secret agent of personal desire sutures a different image. Discover it. Re-write it.