Transience of All Things
Within the horizontal level of perception of the world (the sphere of intellect) and the vertical sphere of the heart, the study is an analytical examination and questioning of the photographical medium essence across various views from areas of philosophy, theology, semiology, and visual culture. At the same time, it is, however, also a view from inside, i.e., the author’s note based on personal experience with this medium. The objective of the study is to decode seeing as an autonomous, actively performed, and purposeful activity of body and soul, but also as universally valid principles of looking; but mostly, it is an attempt on defining the essence of this particular action. Thus, what comes to the fore is the mental image that proposes various questions about desire to own the world, which is simultaneously an image of awakening within the being through photography. Within the context of human temporality, it forms an ontological basis illustrated by documentary photography with its devoted duty to see the world in the complexity of being; and the relationships arising in such way, breaking the reality, are connected to the sphere of the heart animating the work of art. Here, art as an expectation of the truth is being depicted by profane situations of searching for infinity, which talk about an apparent triumph of human spirit over the transience of all things. The study is based on the thoughts of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Roland Barthes, and Marián Gavenda. Photography supported by the “fluidity” of modern thinking allows us to better see the signs of lost paradise; brings us from the non-being to being; is Breton’s “catalyst of human desire”. It is also about a constant – Cézanne´s expansion and overflow of objects’ boundaries in a picture, where we cannot but state that photographer’s relationship to the world is a relationship full of ambiguities but also immense closeness.
Documentary. Immanence. Infinity. Latency. Photography. Profanity. Transience.
CEPKOVÁ, P.: Transience of All Things. In European Journal of Media, Art and Photography, 2022, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 6-17, ISSN 1339-4940.