Blow Photo // Breaking Point – Hamburg Triennial 2018

Essay In Between – From the Borders of Memory to the Horizons of Imagination published in the special issue of the Blow Photo magazine printed in connection to the Hamburg Triennial of Photography in 2018, focused on the festival theme Breaking Point. The premiere of the magazine took place during Paris Photo 2018.

In one of the most well known essays on photography, ‘Camera lucida’, the philosopher Roland Barthes noted: ‘the photograph does not necessarily say what is no longer, but only and for certain what has been’ (Barthes (1980) 2010: 85). Perhaps if he got to observe contemporary societies, he would have added that the photograph can also say what may be. Images are by now far from being perceived solely with an expectation to be an evidence of registered events, they took us far beyond ‘the path of certainty’ (Barthes (1980) 2010). Is it possible that in times when nothing seems certain, the photographic representation may connect with the human experience, and perhaps change it?
We are going through a breaking point, in spite of the fact that ‘the end of history’ had already been announced (Fukuyama 1992). Or maybe the breaking point came, but not in the form that we had imagined. Instead of seemingly eternal progress as understood by capitalist economies, we see the destruction of natural resources, humanitarian catastrophes and wars. Instead of a ‘global village’ with peacefully existing multicultural societies, we face the rise of nationalism, radicalism, and xenophobia. Instead of society of knowledge we observe its caricature represented by leaders, who won on a promise to recreate an idealised past. (…)

The whole text is available in Blow Photo Special Issue Breaking Point / 2018