Truth and Truthiness in Photography

Capa Dancing, Bomb

A few days ago, the NY Times published  another piece on the notion of objective truth in photography–the aesthetic question of whether the ‘decisive moment’ can be a fabrication.  I’d argue that the crux of the issue is whether photographs lie or whether they are instruments of, and contribute to, bullshit.

If either photographs trade on lies  or on, bullshit, they stand on varyingly different sides of the truth. Photographs as  lies and the liars who tell, take, them are concerned with the truth, so that the lie may better conceal the truth, according to Harry Frankfurt.  Bullshit and the bullshitter photographer, on the other hand, dispenses with concern for the truth entirely and instead tries to impress his agenda on to others through sheer persuasion and propositions that may have no truth value whatsoever.

~ by Faheem Haider on August 30, 2009.

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