Karl Dauthendey (father of the Poet), with His Fiancee. Photo by Karl Dauthendey

in spainish •  last year

the first general synod of the Church of Scotland in 1843 on a long series

of portrait photographs. But these pictures he took himself. And it is they,

unpretentious makeshifts meant for internal use, that gave his name a place

in history, while as a painter he is forgotten. Admittedly a number of his

studies lead even deeper into the new technology than this series of por-

traits—anonymous images, not posed subjects. Such figures had long been

the subjects of painting. Where the painting remained in the possession of

a particular family, now and then someone would ask about the person

portrayed. But after two or three generations this interest fades; the pictures,

if they last, do so only as testimony to the art of the painter. With photog-

raphy, however, we encounter something new and strange: in Hill's New-

haven fishwife, her eyes cast down in such indolent, seductive modesty, there

remains something that goes beyond testimony to the photographer's art,

something that cannot be silenced, that fills you with an unruly desire to

know what her name was, the woman who was alive there, who even now

is still real and will never consent to be wholly absorbed in "art."

And I ask: How did the beauty of that hair,

those eyes, beguile our forebears? How did that mouth kiss, to which desire curls up senseless as smoke without fire? 6

Or you turn up the picture of Dauthendey the photographer, the father of

the poet, from the time of his engagement to that woman whom he found

one day, shortly after the birth of her sixth child, lying in the bedroom of

his Moscow house with her veins slashed. Here she can be seen with him.

He seems to be holding her. but her gaze passes him by, absorbed in an

ominous distance. Immerse yourself in such a picture long enough and you

will realize to what extent opposites touch, here too: the most precise

technology can give its products a magical value, such as a painted picture

can never again have for us. No matter how artful the photographer, no

matter how carefully posed his subject, the beholder feels an irresistible urge

to search such a picture for the tiny spark of contingency, of the here and

now, with which reality has (so to speak) seared the subject, to find the

inconspicuous spot where in the immediacy of that long-forgotten moment

the future nests so eloquently that we, looking back, may rediscover it. For

it is another nature which speaks to the camera rather than to the eye:

"other" above all in the sense that a space informed by human consciousness

gives way to a space informed by the unconscious. Whereas it is a common-

place that, for example, we have some idea what is involved in the act of

walking (if only in general terms), we have no idea at all what happens

during the fraction of a second when a person actually takes a step. Pho-

tography, with its devices of slow motion and enlargement, reveals the

secret. It is through photography that we first discover the existence of this
9760C461-73B0-42A8-B933-FA73D96FAC4D.jpeg

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Congratulations @adnanmengal! You have completed some achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of upvotes

Click on any badge to view your own Board of Honor on SteemitBoard.
For more information about SteemitBoard, click here

If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Upvote this notification to help all Steemit users. Learn why here!

Congratulations @adnanmengal! You have completed some achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of upvotes

Click on any badge to view your own Board of Honor on SteemitBoard.
For more information about SteemitBoard, click here

If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Upvote this notification to help all Steemit users. Learn why here!