🌱 2022-08-23

Came across German artist John Heartfield twice this week - an openculture article and John Berger's Understanding a Photograph.

His work is intriguing but, what caught my interest was Berger's dissection of what makes a good photo-montage.

The peculiar advantage of photo-montage lies in the fact that everything which has been cut out keeps its familiar photographic appearance. We are still looking first at things and only afterwards at symbols.

But because these things have been shifted, because the natural continuities within which they normally exist have been broken, and because they have now been arranged to transmit an unexpected message, we are made conscious of the arbitrariness of their continuous normal message.

Art must deny in order to answer question in its own terms. It is lies that can be qualified as useful or useless; the lie is surrounded by what has not been said and its usefulness or not can be gauged according to what has been hidden. The truth is always first discovered in open space.

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