For issue N° 5 of STREULICHT - Magazine for Photography and Related Matters - we point to that which eludes the visual realm and challenges our visual and emotional perception. In contrast to the depiction of that which is "picture worthy" and "desirable", a visual history of society can also be defined by that which is not shown, rather than by that which is. A photographic image is often a metaphor for something else that cannot or may not be shown - to what degree does the revelation of that which is beyond the norm enable one to gain insight? And when does this act of breaking of the rules turn into mere sensationalism? How do borders and fissures present themselves the "front of images," how do they shift over the course of time? When are they overstepped? By whom?
Since - at the latest - the photos of 9/11 and the reporting of "embedded journalists," pictures have served as mere reference and representation of that which was once there, and thereby overstep our senses of imagination. As a vestige of trauma and emptiness, however, they become an event that escapes the verbal element and renegotiates historical, social and political inscriptions - which images allow these breaks? Which images are themselves arranged and read as placeholders?
How are consensual "don'ts" of visual language circumvented and implemented?
What are the final taboos, and who defines these within the photographic medium?
What freedoms or flaws arise regarding social, political and moralistic gains?
What legitimates a break in taboo?
What images are capable of unhinging our perception of all other images?
In these times of Google Glass, GoPro (compact action cam) and Narrative Clip (clip on camera the size of an iPod for life logging) iconoclasm and reservations regarding photographic fixation are automatically passed down to the consumer through potentially omnipresent - and democratic - surveillance. As a result of this flood of images our world has, for some time now, been no more than the shadow of an undisturbed locus amoenus (Latin for "lovely place").
How does this seemingly random and inflationary image production effect our image culture?
If a visual codex indeed exists, does it behave similarly to verbal taboos, or can an image act as an avant-garde, opening up new territories?