ON THE RENOVATED ATTITUDE TOWARDS PHOTOGRAPHY
The guesses surfaced long years ago, now get their obvious confirmation.
The world keeps on resisting having its picture taken, – in the sense we understand taking pictures today.
It’s definitely time we realize what had been vaguely expressed some years ago, what, however, one had no desire to believe in, what many people were inclined to consider just a fancy-story or hyperbolization by an artist. But the state of things, formed up to now, leaves us no time for keeping on the ostrich’s tactics.
The world in fact does not wish to be photographed, and its destructive resistance is growing. Both inadequateness and self-confidence of our activity only aggravate the situation. The crisis is unavoidable. Its form does not yet reveal itself. But all the caustic attacks against the texts, such as: On the Altered Behaviour of the Sunlight and the others, do obviously prove their groundlessness and feebleness; the texts, which today most of their opponents have to agree with were the first portents of the events to come.
The two extremes are those of deadlock: thoughtless and reckless raising of production of the photographic equipment and highly promoted distribution of it among the people, from one side, and ceasing their photographic practice, as a conscious act, by some of the productive artists – from the other. Both one and another are just the way to ignore the problem: the first – from the self-sufficient unwillingness to notice it, the second – from the unwillingness to act facing the realized danger.
Causes of the crisis, being about its crucial point, are not yet revealed, but they are based nowhere but in ourselves. Pursuit of «a snaking» moment, focusing on «the decisive» one couldn’t not cause the reaction in return. The will to find out what, in fact, occurs to the world when somebody decides to imprint – by means of an appropriate mechanism and the rays of light – and retain a fragment of the world, and what a photographic picture actually is, the will which for along time has been a subject by some advanced persons to be curious in, now is turning into a question of vital importance. Even the most convinced skeptics are about to agree that only the fact of making such a decision to take picture, still before its realization, is not left unnoticed by the world. While both the form and intensity of the world’s reaction are inevitably proportionate to the degree we realize what is happening.
Minsk, August 1997