What is image?
Is it the reappearance of human visual perception?
Is it should be presented on photo, video or TV?
Is the imaging of light? Or an abstract imagination that has not yet been transformed into an entity?
In the exhibition “Unpact” at MAFA gallery, we use text to describe each type of work. Because of this attempt, I had some feelings. I used three separate texts to describe a photo.
I converted the image in words. What does this mean? It limited the way of viewing, biasing the interpretation of the image to a point of view.
But when describing a photograph, I found it impossible to be objective. As we watch photos, we use our own experience to interpret it. We are looking for the relationship between things and ourselves. In John Berger’s Way of Seeing pointed out “We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves.” An experiment from Susan Sontag’s On Photography can also explain this matter. She chose people from different fields to explain a same picture. The result is that everyone has a very different opinion.
The photo itself is already a subjective interpretation of the photographer.However, when I dictated the photo into a piece of text, the truth became far beyond to reach. Or it can be said that the truth does not exist in the photo at all.
In the same way, are the artist and the viewer talking past each other while looking at an art work?
Even if we try our best to narrow the results of the viewing, what the audience reads is only the answer in their own mind. Texts, photographs, pictures, and even everything we cam see are the same situation.
Yu Ting Hsu