Siegfried Kracauer worried that photography is replacing memory, that technologies threaten our ways of being, by removing the depth and emotion of a particular memory. He is looking at a photograph, ‘were it not for the oral tradition, the image alone would not have sufficed to reconstruct the grandmother’s identity.’[i]
I have just looked back at some of the first digital photographs I took (2006), and being on holiday, they are of the usual tourist subjects and they do bring back memories.
I am an addict. Susan Sontag wrote that photography is, ‘an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted.’ [ii] I take photographs just about every day, but I rarely look at my photographs once they are taken and linked to texts, and sometimes uploaded.
The borders of any memory flex and sag as time goes on, memories oscillate between fact and fiction, but I have enjoyed looking at these images and imagine I can feel the mad revelry of that Saturday night in Joe Watty’s Bar.
[i] Siegfried Kracauer, ‘Photography’, in The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays, trans. and ed. Thomas Y. Levin, (1963) Harvard UP, 1995.
[ii] Susan Sontag, On Photography, Penguin Books. 1977, p24.