What does picture do?

What does a picture do? René Magritte painted a pipe and published the painting with the text ”Ceci n’est pas une pipe” – ”this is not a pipe”. Which is quite logical. It wasn’t a pipe but a picture.

Now I post a picture where I photographed a tree trunk. I do so, not  because I want to show you, my reader, a tree trunk. I post it because I want to show you something I saw when I watched it. I got associations of stagnant lava that I saw once, and I was also curious about what could hide in the crevices of the bark.

Maybe you see other things than what I see. It’s not just a tree here, is there? Here, animals and lichens and microorganisms live – entire worlds that we can get into view if we are reminded of it.

Since I do not have a wide-angle lens, I did not get into the smallest bark crevices, and could not take you with me into those worlds. Maybe it’s time for me to invest some money in new equipment.

But whatever the equipment, the tree, the bark and its structure make me see and think. It probably makes me and you associate to completely different things. Depending on what we have experienced in our lives. I thought about this, and I wanted to invite you to a small association feast. About what you actually see and about what you will think about.

Perhaps this is what my favorite philosopher Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback means when she says that an image does not represent an object. It shows a movement.

This is a picture I took when I first walked past the tree. Certainly, it started a movement of sorts when I got to photograph it. The movement then, that the image has started –  in your or my brain.

Right! Is that an answer to my question ”what does a picture do”?



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