photography is a device of human desire

Walking Project

We could discuss this in clinical terms. We know, for example, that the photographic device has obsessive-compulsive effects. The apparent ‘neutrality’ or ‘objectivity’ of the medium quickly turns it into a device that is driven by the anxiety that something is evading it: an obsession for registration and organisation, an obsession for information, documenting, cataloguing, systemising and creating hierarchies with respect to the apparent reality. On the other hand, due to the opportunities that photography offers to be there on the spot in any situation, it soon becomes invested with a hysterical desire: the cry for ‘reality’, ‘authenticity’, ‘intensity’, the demand that the image will take me to the very heart of the activity that it has registered. The image must fulfil me. We want the real thing and we want it now. The whole ‘human interest’ business that has been hollowing out the information sector for years, cultivates that hysteria.

— Frank Vande Veire, Blind Auto-Reflexivity: Dirk Braeckman’s Light on Photography


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