PhotoGraphs – WrittenLight

When taken literally, a translation of the word ‘photograph’ means ‘written light’. In this book Mikesch Muecke offers the reader/viewer a collection of ‘textual illumination’ divided into categories. The accompanying short short-stories—in some cases no more than a few words—are literary counter weights to the visual text.

Rather than pretend to be a technophile and focus on how each image came about (aperture setting, focal length, lens type, film, etc.)—which is a conventional means of augmenting photographic images—Muecke borrows instead Roland Barthes’ take on photographs, and treats what the camera captured as something that cannot be repeated. In other words, the how of the photograph is not as important to him as what is made visible with light.

Continuing with Barthes, conceptually these ‘things written with light’ are all punctum rather than studium. They represent what caught my eye over the years. Sometimes Muecke frames his subjects consciously, at other times he only realizes later the significance of a particular frame.

This is the 2015 edition of a book that was originally published in 2005. The new edition has updated interior images, a new organization based on categories, and an overall impression that reminded an outside reader (author C. Arthur Croyle) of “neuropath bumper cars.”

Product Details

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Obvious Press; 2 edition (May 31, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1941892094
ISBN-13: 978-1941892091
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

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You can get the book here.