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that lightness

July 24, 2009


[the floating bridge of dreams] …time is held still in a photograph, suspended, and the different parts of the image are perceived instantly, as a whole. In a way, the photograph could also be understood as a non-sequential ‘field’ whose unity is grasped instantly, beyond the linguistic activity of the subject. Usually, the photograph is analyzed in terms of the past, a dead and frozen time which captures, in a way mummifies reality: from Barthes’s ‘that-has-been’, a footprint or a death mask, to Sontag’s ‘way of imprisoning reality, of making it stand still’ or Hutcheon’s ‘all photographs are by definition representations of the past’. But if time is made to stand still, then subjectivity can thus break from the normal flow and find itself in an eternal ‘now’, experience the essence of time as time-being, or being-time (有時, uji), as Dogen describes it – simultanously flow and eternal moment (an analogy would be, perhaps, the Einsteinian wave/particle nature of light). The past hours are absorbed in the I, they may ‘seem to be elsewhere but are actually in the absolute, eternal now’. Each particular moment of time embodies simultanously all the time-being of the world.

But speaking in terms of processuality, what actually interests me here: in that ‘now’ which seems to suspend time, the absolute of the moment when the button is pushed, there takes place an encounter between the creative consciousness and the world, which produces – or better – lets emerge a new reality, by its own accord. In that act, as I experience it, a hidden reality reveals itself, which is neither a merely mechanical copy of the world as it is, nor the expression of the human subjectivity, but something which incorporates and transcends both and embodies the time-being of both self and world. (read)

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