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Kracauer was not the only one to notice a parallel between «historical reality and camera reality,» [8] which for him had its roots in the element of distance, of alienation. Roland Barthes also noted «a paradox: the same century invented History and Photography.» [9] For Barthes this coincidence is paradoxical because historical science is construed remembrance, whereas the photographic image is not a memory store but an option on the certainty about «what has been.» That is a subtle but decisive difference, because from here photographs cannot only be conceived of as more or less semantically compressed historical documents, but as an abrupt return of the past independent from the aesthetic quality of the individual images or the already doubtful quality of a photographic signature. Barthes clearly declared his advocacy of private photography. In view of its manifestations, which will be treated in the following, it is questionable whether his «romantic» notion of private photography, which deals with love and death, is still appropriate. [10] And this because the element of reception has been pushed into the background in favor of excessive producing.


«we are in love with your picture» (Lomo)

On the side of the garish, coarse-grained, utterly devoid of anything prophetic or stage-managed and without a trace of depth: the lomographers. In this photo community, which was established at the beginning of the 1990s, egalitarian picture-taking is particularly desirable. Its orientation is participatory, i.e., taking photographs should distinguish itself as a social activity in which there is no interest in the success of an individual image; rather the decisive factor is participation in a non-elitist ‹project,› which in the broadest sense is nonetheless regarded as artistic. [11] The conventions governing the ‹good picture,› still prevalent in amateur photography, are circumvented by the programmatic-ironic rule stating that only a single, simple type of camera may be used and by the «Ten Golden Rules» [LI], which if followed are intended to help transport one back into a state of photograph naivete.

Lomography is photography using a «Lomo Kompakt Automat,» an analog Russian spy camera that supposedly fell into the hands of several Viennese

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